Electrophysiology is the cardiology specialty that diagnoses and treats heart arrhythmias, a disturbance of the heart’s normal rhythm that may be serious and even life threatening. At Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC), cardiology specialists called electrophysiologists use the most advanced technology to detect, diagnose and treat arrhythmias.
Electrophysiology procedures at NGMC are performed in the cardiac catheterization lab and include:
Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD):
An ICD is a small, electronic device that is permanently place inside the body to help control the heart’s rhythm, speed and pattern. Like a pacemaker, it constantly monitors the heart rhythm. Most importantly, it has the ability to stop a dangerous arrhythmia.
Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation:
In some situations, the specific area of the rhythm disturbance can be corrected by sending heat energy through a catheter to a small region of the heart to vaporize the abnormal area.
Northeast Georgia Medical Center was the first hospital in Georgia to use cryoablation on adults, a technique to treat arrhythmias which involves freezing abnormal areas causing arrhythmias. In appropriate patients, cryoablation is often safer and easier to use than alternate procedures that treat by heating.
Electrophysiology (EP) Study:
An EP study is a diagnostic study in which a catheter in gently inserted into the blood vessels that feed the heart. The catheter is guided into the heart and the catheter’s electrodes gather data regarding the heart’s electrical function. During an EP study, an electrophysiologist may provoke arrhythmias and collect data about the events, helping the doctor assess the needed treatment.
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