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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.


More than 2.7 million Americans have been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, which is often called AFib. The condition occurs when the upper chambers of the heart—called the atria—beat irregularly, which disrupts blood flow in the heart. One of its side effects is an increased risk of stroke. Treatment has traditionally included lifelong blood-thinning medication therapy that carries side effects of its own, but a one-time procedure provides an innovative new way of battling that risk.

A new device called the WATCHMAN, implanted during a nonsurgical procedure, offers an alternative without the associated risks. The WATCHMAN is a device that is inserted into the left atrial appendage (a part of the left atrium of the heart) through catheters that are inserted into a vein in the leg. The device plugs off and seals the left atrial appendage from the left atrium to prevent future clot formation. The innovative aspect of this procedure is the way that stroke risk is reduced by closing off the left atrial appendage, which eliminates the need for long-term anticoagulant therapy.

Meet Our Electrophysiologists


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