The Cardiac Electrophysiology Service at Princeton provides a full range of outpatient and inpatient procedures to diagnose and treat various cardiac rhythm abnormalities and heart failure.
Electrophysiological (EP) studies and ablations require approximately 2 to 4 hours to complete as catheters are guided into the heart chambers while a patient is sedated. During the procedure, the catheter's electrodes gather data and a variety of electrical measurements are made. These can help the physician identify the type and source of the rhythm abnormality which may help determine the need for a pacemaker or an implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD).
Both procedures, the implants of a pacemaker and an ICD, are performed while the patient is sedated. A small incision is usually made in the left shoulder area and pacing wires are advanced into the heart through large veins. The wires are connected to the device generator which is placed under the skin in the incision area. These devices can perform a variety of important and life-saving functions including correcting abnormal heart rhythms and may help improve heart failure symptoms.
When appropriate, ablation therapy can be performed during the EP study. This non-surgical procedure can treat many types of arrhythmias by ablating or altering the pathway that may cause the disruption to the regular rhythm of the heart.
For questions about this service, please call the cardiac cath/EP lab at 205-783-3231.