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cynthiaG Find out more about cynthiaG
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  • EPS study procedure

    has anyone seen an Electrophysiologist for an EPS study where they insert a catheter up into the heart and try to find out where the electrical problem is? and if so, and the doctor found it, would they do an ablation at the same time?? It would make sense to me. I wouldnt want to have 2 procedures
    \"It is not length of life, but depth of life.\"

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • #2
    Re: EPS study procedure

    Cynthia, I think we are talking about the same thing. The Electrophysiological Study and the EPS is the same, one using initials the other spelled out.

    That is what I had in my reply to your other post. I first had a consultation with the Electrophysiologist Cardiologist. He explained what they would do during the study and ablation process. They go through the groin, arm or shoulder to get where they need to be. Depending on what they find during the mapping process, the decision to do an ablation is made at that time. So, yes, they would do an ablation then, if the need arises. Mine was through the groin with catheter in the vein to the heart. They studied and mapped and did ablations wherever they needed to be done.

    Like I said in my other post, it was a bit more difficult for them because of the septal myectomy to perform both the mapping and ablations. As in every operation, scar tissue from previous procedures becomes an issue. So, because of the scar tissue from having had a myectomy, it took them longer to get the results they wanted.

    Be sure to have your list of questions with you! If they seem like "small stuff" to the professionals, they are "big stuff" to you. I seem to ask the same questions to both my cardiologist and the EP cardiologist. I just want to be sure we are all on the same page when it comes to poking around in my heart!

    Dorothy
    Dorothy

    Diagnosed 1996, Myectomy Aug. 2000, 3 Radio-frequency ablations for a-fibs 2003-2005.

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    • #3
      Re: EPS study procedure

      thanks, Dorothy,
      that's what I thought the EPS was. I don't know if they plan on doing this yet, but it's nice to know beforehand what is involved. My husband is the one who can remain calm and asks a lot of questions (i.e. what are the risks", if you do this, what is the outcome, and so on). I'll keep you informed and thank you for your information

      P.S. I had a procedure a week after I gave birth to my son (had blood clots in my artery in my groin area) that they went in and put a catheter in and broke the clots but didnt go up to my heart
      \"It is not length of life, but depth of life.\"

      Ralph Waldo Emerson

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      • #4
        Re: EPS study procedure

        Cynthia,

        I had this this past August. Yes, as Dorothy said, they do both at the same time, but if and when they find the area to ablate, they have to insert another tube so they give deeper anesthesia and make another cut. I was awake but spacy through the first part, but I recall them telling me they were going to do this and would put me deeper asleep, so I do not recall the rest. I have one piece of advice: If you have this, and it sounds possible, make sure that you empty the bladder fully beforehand. By far the most difficult part of the procedure was that I was unable to go because of being immobilized for about 14 hours between the procedure itself and the enforced stillness afterwards. My clotting time would not go up, so this was a little longer than for some people, but still I think the wait would have been way too long, especially when on IV fluids. They brought a bed pan of sorts that is rather like a dustpan in that it is flat, but my bladder refused to empty lying down even though I was in agony. Just a word to the wise! (I don't know if they ever catherize people beforehand, but if so and you have a choice, I highly recommend it.)

        Rhoda

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        • #5
          Re: EPS study procedure

          Hello Cynthia,
          I have never had an EPS study done on me, but I have had four Heart Cath’s (angioplasties of my heart) plus about four or more angiograms. I’ve also had both renal arteries angioplastied, and both iliac arteries angioplastied. Consequently I do have some experience with catheters, especially going in through the groin. My right femoral artery is too blocked now to go in that way, so they go in on the left side.

          The procedure I’ve grown accustomed to is as follows – done under local anesthetic; First they open the artery and insert an ‘introducer’. This feels like they are pressing on your leg rather firmly, but I wouldn’t really call it pain. That’s the worst part. They then insert the catheter through the introducer, and guide it to the proper location(s). The catheter is a tube with a bend at the end, through which they can squirt a dye allowing them to ‘see’ what they are doing, using an x-ray machine. The bend allows them to direct it through the arteries. With an angioplasty when they have the catheter in the right place, they then slide a smaller tube with a balloon on the end through the catheter and place the balloon in the blocked area. They then inflate the balloon up to seven atmospheres. At this point you might feel the beginnings of a heart attack because while the balloon is inflated the artery is totally blocked. This only lasts a matter of seconds. The blockage is squeezed against the walls of the artery, and the artery is stretched (ballooned out) resulting in a completely open arterial flow.

          To keep the artery from collapsing, a stent is now used. The balloon tube is extracted and another tube is inserted carrying the stent. This is like a stretched spring until at the proper location. It is then released and allowed to expand, holding the ballooned artery open. My first heart cath was done in 1985 and they didn’t have stents in those days, so they had to monitor the patients very closely, and be ready to do open heart surgery in the event the artery collapsed.

          The procedures I had done in 2003 were very much easier, although the heart cath had many complications and I wound up on the table for six hours over two days. Normally the procedure runs one hour or less (sometimes a lot less) start to finish. After the procedures I was taken back to my room and had to lay (almost) flat for two hours, then I was raised up a little more for another two hours. After that I could sit up on the bed, dangle my feet, and then walk to the bathroom.

          There was no eating or drinking from midnight on until the procedure was done. After the procedure they let me sip some water through a straw, and eat ‘Finger Food’ because I couldn’t lift my head. With four ‘-plasties’ in seven months I got wise, and had my wife in the room to feed me when I got back. (Ever so much better.)

          Rhoda’s advice is to be taken seriously. Because of my kidneys I was on a saline drip for eighteen hours before the procedures, and for hours after. My plumbing allows me to use a urinal, but even so it’s a long, long time (bladder-wise) from the time they take you from your room until you can find relief. Make absolutely sure you start with an empty bladder. (I waited until they came for me, and had them wait while I made my last trip to the john.) I think that, and the anticipation, are now the worst parts of the whole thing. They’ve gotten pretty darn good at fixing your innards.

          If you have any private questions or concerns that I might be able to answer, please PM me. Would be happy to help in any way I can.
          Burt

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