Electrophysiology Laboratory at Ellis
Cardiac Electrophysiology is the science of diagnosing and treating the electrical activities and conditions of the heart. The Electrophysiology Laboratory at Ellis Medicine was one of the first in the region, treating heart conditions that cause irregular heart beats and arrhythmias using a variety of invasive and non-invasive procedures and drug therapies.
Electrophysiology devices and procedures
Implantable devices used to help control abnormal heart rhythms.
Devices used to deliver electrical energy to the heart to restore a normal heart rhythm.
A minimally invasive procedure that uses electrical energy delivered via catheter to restore a normal heart rhythm.
Patients who have a heart arrhythmia (irregular heart beat) that can't be controlled by medications or lifestyle changes may require a cardiac ablation to help restore the normal electrical flow of the heart. Most commonly, a cardiac ablation treats rapid heartbeats that begin in the atria (upper chambers) of the heart.
In these instances, a catheter is inserted - most often through an artery in the groin or neck - and navigated to the area of the heart where damaged tissue is disrupting normal heart rhythms. (Heart muscle contractions are created by a regular, measured pattern of electricity flowing through the heart. Sometimes this electrical flow gets blocked by damaged tissue).
The electrophysiologist uses electrodes at the tip of the catheter to pinpoint the exact location of the damaged heart tissue (where the electrical flow is being disrupted). Energy (either radiofrequency energy that cauterizes the tissue, or intense cold energy that freezes the tissue) is then used to restore a normal heart rhythm (electrical flow within the heart).
Ablations are minimally invasive procedures with high success rates of correcting the patient's irregular heartbeat. Some patients watch most of the procedure on monitors. Afterwards, the patient lies still for four to six hours so that the artery through which the catheter was inserted properly starts to heal (to prevent bleeding complications). Patients may feel stiff or uncomfortable from lying still for this period of time, but patients rarely report feeling pain during or after the procedure.
For more information about Ellis Medicine’s Wright Heart Center or Emergency Department, please call 518.831.8840.