We create new possibilities for life We create new possibilities for life

WhatsApp Appointment

Orchard +65 8111 7777

Novena +65 8111 5777

  • Mount Elizabeth

Electrophysiology (EP) Study

  • What is an electrophysiology (EP) study?

    An electrophysiology (EP) study is a test that doctors use to check if your heart's electrical system is working properly, and to find out why if it's not.

    Your heart’s electrical system, which coordinates the heart’s contractions that allow blood to flow normally, creates a regular heartbeat or rhythm. This natural rhythm may be affected by many factors, leading to irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia. These factors include age, heart conditions such as high blood pressure, a prior heart attack or a congenital heart defect.

    To perform an EP study, thin electrodes are inserted into a vein and guided to the heart to measure its electrical signals. Your doctor may also use the electrodes to stimulate an abnormal heart rhythm to identify its cause. This information will help to determine an appropriate form of treatment.

  • An electrophysiology (EP) study may be recommended for doctors to:

    • Check for abnormal electrical signals that may be causing irregular heartbeats
    • Identify the source of an arrhythmia
    • Investigate the cause of symptoms such as dizziness, fainting, weakness, or palpitations
    • Investigate your risk for cardiac arrest
    • Assess treatment options, which may include catheter ablation, a pacemaker or an implantable cardioverter defibrillator
    • Evaluate if a prescribed treatment is working
  • Preparing for an EP study

    You will need to provide your doctor with your medical history including:

    • Medications, vitamins and supplements you are currently taking, especially any medicines that affect blood clotting (you will need to stop taking these a few days before the procedure)
    • Any conditions you may have, especially bleeding disorders
    • Allergies to any medications or substances, if any

    Depending on your existing health conditions, you may be asked to undergo some tests to confirm you are healthy enough to undergo the procedure. You will also need to fast, usually overnight, before the procedure.

    During an EP study

    Just before you begin, you may be given a sedative and a local anaesthetic to numb the pain of the catheter insertion. If it is being inserted through the vein in the groin, the area may need to be shaved.

    You will also be connected to an electrocardiogram (ECG) monitor via small electrodes attached to your skin – this will help to monitor your heart’s activity during the EP study.

    Next, the catheter will be inserted. Fluoroscopy, a form of X-ray, is used to help doctors guide the catheter to the right side of your heart. Once it is in position, your doctor will test different areas of the heart using small electrical impulses. During this time, you may feel your heart beat strong and faster than usual. If an abnormal heart rhythm is triggered, you may feel lightheaded and dizzy.

    Depending on what the EP study reveals, the doctor may then provide medication or issue an electrical shock to stop the arrhythmia. In some cases, an ablation may be performed to remove the tissue that is causing the irregular heartbeat.

    If you feel pain in your chest, neck, jaw, arm or back, or have difficulty breathing, tell your doctor immediately.

    After an EP study

    After the EP study is done, the catheter is removed and a bandage applied to stop the bleeding. Your condition and recovery will be observed and if the catheter was inserted via the groin, you won’t be able to move your leg for several hours.

    You will be told when you can get out of bed. Be careful to move slowly at first to avoid dizziness. Your doctor will advise when you are ready to be discharged.

    Take care to avoid strenuous activities for a few days, and follow your doctor’s advice on when you can resume normal activity.

    Once at home, take note of any sign of bleeding, unusual pain, swelling, and abnormal colour or fever. A small bruise is normal but if there is a large amount of blood, especially if it won’t stop after applying pressure, contact your doctor immediately.

    You should also call your doctor if you experience any of these:

    • Fever with a temperature higher than 38°C
    • Increased pain, redness, swelling, or bleeding or other drainage where the catheter was inserted
    • Coolness, numbness or tingling, or other changes in the affected leg
    • Chest pain or pressure, nausea or vomiting, profuse sweating, dizziness, or fainting

    Risks of an EP study

    Possible complications of an electrophysiological (EP) study include:

    • Bleeding and bruising at the site where the catheter is put into a vein
    • Damage to the vessel that the catheter is put into
    • Formation of blood clots at the end of the catheter(s) that break off and travel into a blood vessel

    Rarely, infection or damage to the heart or its electrical system may occur.

    Any current health condition may also affect your risk, so be sure to discuss your medical history and any concerns beforehand.

  • Mount Elizabeth Hospitals is well-equipped to offer a wide range of procedures, from diagnostic tests such as electrophysiology (EP) studies to advanced surgical procedures.

    Our experienced cardiologists and cardiac surgeons treat patients from all over the world and our multidisciplinary team of medical specialists, nurses and therapists are prepared to support you throughout treatment and recovery.

    Make an Appointment Make an Enquiry

  • Our Specialists

    There are 53 SpecialistsView All

    • Ang Teck Kee

      Specialty:
      Cardiology

      View Profile

      Clinic:
      Livingstone Cardiology Pte Ltd
      Location:
      3 Mount Elizabeth #14-13
      Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
      Singapore 228510
      Contact No:
      62357536
    • Chan Wan Xian

      Specialty:
      Cardiology

      View Profile

      Clinic:
      Asian Heart & Vascular Centre
      Location:
      38 Irrawaddy Road #08-58 to 61 and #10-54 to 55
      Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
      Singapore 329563
      Contact No:
      6339 3638
      Clinic:
      Asian Heart & Vascular Centre
      Location:
      3 Mount Elizabeth #16-07
      Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
      Singapore 228510
      Contact No:
      68873422
    • Chee Tek Siong

      Specialty:
      Cardiology
      Sub-specialty:
      Intensive Care Medicine

      View Profile

      Clinic:
      The Heart Specialist Clinic
      Location:
      3 Mount Elizabeth #14-10
      Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
      Singapore 228510
      Contact No:
      62358733
    • Cheng Alfred

      Specialty:
      Cardiology

      View Profile

      Clinic:
      Alfred Cheng Cardiac Care Pte Ltd
      Location:
      3 Mount Elizabeth #15-15
      Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
      Singapore 228510
      Contact No:
      67357735
    • Chew Christopher

      Specialty:
      Cardiology

      View Profile

      Clinic:
      International Heart Clinic Pte Ltd
      Location:
      3 Mount Elizabeth #06-07
      Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
      Singapore 228510
      Contact No:
      63338383
    • Chia Stanley

      Specialty:
      Cardiology

      View Profile

      Clinic:
      Asian Heart & Vascular Centre
      Location:
      38 Irrawaddy Road #08-58 to 61 and #10-54 to 55
      Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
      Singapore 329563
      Contact No:
      6339 3638
      Clinic:
      Asian Heart And Vascular Centre
      Location:
      3 Mount Elizabeth #17-08
      Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
      228510
      Contact No:
      67338638
      Clinic:
      Asian Heart & Vascular Centre
      Location:
      3 Mount Elizabeth  #16-07 and #17-08
      Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
      Singapore 228510
      Contact No:
      6733 8638
    • Chiam Toon Lim Paul

      Specialty:
      Cardiology

      View Profile

      Clinic:
      The Heart And Vascular Centre
      Location:
      3 Mount Elizabeth #08-06
      Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
      Singapore 228510
      Contact No:
      6735 3022
      Clinic:
      The Heart & Vascular Centre (Novena)
      Location:
      38 Irrawaddy Road #09-21
      Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
      Singapore 329563
      Contact No:
      6694 0140
    • Chow Hui Jeremy

      Specialty:
      Cardiology

      View Profile

      Clinic:
      Asian Heart & Vascular Centre
      Location:
      38 Irrawaddy Road #08-58 to 61 and #10-54 to 55
      Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
      Singapore 329563
      Contact No:
      6339 3638
      Clinic:
      Asian Heart & Vascular Centre Pte Ltd
      Location:
      3 Mount Elizabeth #17-08
      Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
      228510
      Contact No:
      67338638
    • Chuang Hsuan-Hung

      Specialty:
      Cardiology

      View Profile

      Clinic:
      Asian Heart & Vascular Centre
      Location:
      38 Irrawaddy Road #08-58 to 61 and #10-54 to 55
      Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
      Singapore 329563
      Contact No:
      6339 3638
      Clinic:
      Asian Heart And Vascular Centre
      Location:
      3 Mount Elizabeth #17-08
      Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
      228510
      Contact No:
      67338638
    • Dinesh Nair

      Specialty:
      Cardiology

      View Profile

      Clinic:
      Heart Matters Medical Centre Pte Ltd
      Location:
      38 Irrawaddy Road #07-30
      Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
      Singapore 329563
      Contact No:
      63391991

    There are 53 SpecialistsView All

  • Related Health Articles

  • Multimedia