Dr. Johnny R. Dy at Cross River Cardiology is well-versed in diagnosing and treating problems involving the electrical activity of the heart.
In order to serve you better, Cross River Cardiology brings in an electrophysiologist to serve your needs when more advanced evaluation and treatment is necessary without unnecessary travel to distant facilities.
What Is Electrophysiology?
Electrophysiology is a sub-specialty of cardiology that focuses on testing and treating problems involving irregular heart rhythms, also known as arrhythmias.
What Is an Electrophysiology (EP) Study?
An electrophysiology (EP) study is a minimally invasive procedure performed to assess the nature of a heartbeat irregularity (arrhythmia) more accurately. An EP study can help your cardiologist determine precisely where the arrhythmia is coming from – and what type of treatment may be necessary to fix it. An EP study is also used to monitor the effectiveness of a particular type of treatment.
How an EP Study Is Performed
An EP study begins much like a cardiac catheterization procedure, by threading a thin, flexible tube (catheter) through an artery to the heart.
In an EP study, however, a specialized electrode catheter is used. This allows your cardiologist to send mild electrical signals to your heart to make it beat at different speeds. The electrical activity of your heart is then recorded in a process called cardiac mapping. In this way, an EP study might be considered a type of internal EKG.
Treating Irregular Heartbeats
Treatment of your arrhythmia will depend on what your cardiologist discovers with an EP study. For example, high blood pressure and the aging process itself may scar heart tissue, causing an irregular heartbeat. Previous heart attacks can also contribute to the problem.
In some cases, your cardiologist may recommend medicine or a particular procedure or surgery. A minimally invasive ablation procedure may be able to resolve the issue by removing scar tissue that is causing an irregular heartbeat. The results of your EP study can also identify if you are a good candidate for a pacemaker or defibrillator. These treatment options may be performed during or immediately after your EP study.
A pacemaker is a common treatment for heart arrhythmia , an irregular heart rhythm, as when the heart beats too fast, too slow, or unevenly. A pacemaker is a small device surgically implanted under the skin, near the heart, to help maintain a regular heartbeat.
Implantable Loop Recorders
A loop recorder is a small device implanted just under the skin of your chest to record the activity of your heart, and to identify cardiac arrhythmias that may be causing symptoms such as fainting and heart palpitations. Unlike a pacemaker, however, an implantable loop recorder simply records your heart rate and rhythm over time – it doesn’t regulate it. The loop recorder is implanted during a quick and easy minimally invasive procedure in our office.
Cardiac Electrophysiologist in Caldwell County, NC
If you suspect you may have an irregular heartbeat, contact Cross River Cardiology in Lenoir, North Carolina, by calling (828) 572-0778. You can also request an appointment now.