When your heart is out of rhythm, it can impact the rhythm of your life. The electrophysiologists of Kansas City Heart Rhythm Institute use the most advanced technology and electrophysiology procedures to evaluate your heart, resulting in an accurate diagnosis and an optimal treatment plan.
An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is a quick and painless test used to measure your heart’s electrical activity at one point in time. EKG stickers (electrodes) are placed on your chest to determine if your heart is overworked, fast, slow, or irregular.
A Holter monitor is a wearable device used to continuously record your heart’s activity over time. Irregular heart rhythms and symptoms can come and go. This allows your electrophysiologist to assess how your heart acts during everyday activities. Your electrophysiologist will provide you with a Holter monitor if needed.
Tilt Table Testing
Tilt table testing is used to see how your heart reacts to a change in position. If you have episodes of unexplained fainting (syncope), this test may be ordered to help identify the cause. The table is used to simulate the act of lying down to standing up while your heart rate and blood pressure are monitored.
Exercise Stress Test
A stress test is used to see how your heart functions during physical activity. If you’re unable to exercise, a stress test may be conducted by administering a medication to simulate the effects of exercise on the heart.
Implantable Loop Monitor
A loop recorder is a type of cardiac event monitor that is placed under the skin on your chest (usually about 1/8 of the size of a USB drive or pack of gum). It continuously monitors your heart rhythm and can be helpful in diagnosing issues that occur occasionally and are accompanied by severe symptoms. It can also assist with ongoing evaluation of your condition by telling your electrophysiologist if your medications, pacemaker, or defibrillator is working properly.
Loop monitor implantation electrophysiology procedures are performed as a quick outpatient procedure using local anesthesia.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the Heart
MRI is an imaging study of your heart that helps your electrophysiologist understand the structural details of your heart. This will also help them assess for the presence of inflammation, infiltrates and scar tissue which may be critical for the diagnosis and treatment of your heart rhythm condition.
Cardiac Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan
A PET scan is a nuclear imaging test that helps to measure inflammation in the heart muscle and is an important tool in the diagnosis and treatment of various arrhythmias related to myocarditis (inflammation of the heart) and other cardiomyopathic diseases (disease of the heart muscle).
Electrophysiology (EP) Study
An EP study is a minimally invasive, catheter-based test used to trigger arrhythmias, collect data about the flow of your heart’s electrical activity and pinpoint specific areas of tissue causing the problem. It can also be used to determine the effectiveness of medications and to help predict the risk of sudden cardiac death. During an electrophysiologic study you will be given a local anesthetic and placed under conscious sedation. A thin, flexible tube with electricity-monitoring electrodes will be inserted into your blood vessel in the groin or neck. The catheter is then guided to the heart where the study is performed. Many times, ablation is also performed immediately following the EP study.
Procedure time: About 2 hours
Hospital stay: You will need to remain still for about 4-6 hours after the EP study so the incision can heal properly. Unless additional monitoring, tests, or surgery is needed, most people return home after 6-24 hours.
Recovery: Your electrophysiologist will provide specific discharge instructions. In general, normal activity can be resumed the day after the procedure with the exception of:
- No driving for 24 hours
- No lifting over 10 lbs. for 2 days
- No strenuous exercise for 2 days
- No swimming or sitting in bathwater for 3 days