Electrophysiology (EP) is the cardiac specialty that studies the heart's electrical system to diagnose and treat abnormal heart rhythms—arrhythmias—when a heartbeat is too fast, too slow or irregular.
When your heart's electrical system isn't functioning properly, your heart rhythm becomes abnormal, which can lead to dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath and heart attack. It may also signal underlying heart disease.
Advanced Treatment for Arrhythmias
In addition to ongoing investments in new technology, Portsmouth Regional Hospital collaborates with the area's leading cardiologists to offer advanced electrophysiology (EP) services to people throughout the Seacoast region.
The board-certified electrophysiologists at our hospital's Heart & Vascular Institute have decades of experience and training in the latest diagnostic and treatment approaches. That means we're experts at determining the source of arrhythmias and finding the best way to resolve irregular heartbeats—procedures that can help keep your heart beating normally.
Arrhythmias may cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- Chest palpitations
- Lack of energy
- Chest discomfort
- Shortness of breath
- Fainting spells
Even if your symptoms are mild, discuss them with your doctor. Untreated, arrhythmias greatly increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
The cardiologists at the Portsmouth Regional Hospital Heart & Vascular Institute take a variety of approaches to diagnose and treat heart arrhythmias, choosing the least invasive options first. Medications may be effective in slowing rapid heart rates, and cardioversion may be used to restore normal heart rhythm with an electric shock if medications alone aren't effective.
Other interventional cardiology treatments performed at Portsmouth Regional Hospital include:
When an EKG is not able to provide a complete diagnosis for a person with an abnormal heart rhythm, an electrophysiology study may be needed. In this procedure, narrow catheters are inserted through the veins of the leg or shoulder into the heart, and EKG signals from inside the heart are recorded. The electrophysiologist may stimulate the heart to trigger abnormal rhythm and record signals to assist in diagnosing and treating the abnormality.
Learn more about electrophysiology (EP) studies, including what to expect and how to prepare for your procedure, in our online Health Library.