Your EPS may be performed at a hospital as a day-case (this means you arrive and leave on the same day) but often you will be expected to stay one night in hospital. You will be admitted to hospital approximately 2 hours before your procedure is due. A nurse will prepare you for the procedure. The procedure is performed in an X-ray room and can take anywhere from 20 minutes to one hour. If the abnormal electric connection is identified, an ablation may be performed and the procedure will take longer. You will be mildly sedated and lying completely flat on your back. Your blood pressure and ECG will be monitored continuously during the test.
The test is performed through the blood vessels at the top of the leg and occasionally under the collar bone near the shoulder. You will receive an injection of local anaesthetic to numb the area, so it should not be too painful. Once numb, a fine plastic tube (catheter) will be inserted into the blood vessel and through this several fine wires are passed into the blood vessel.
The wires are moved through your blood vessels into the correct position in the heart. You will be able to watch the procedure on the TV screens if you wish. Once the catheter(s) are placed properly, the electrical testing will begin by sending very small electrical impulses to certain areas within the heart. You may begin to feel lightheaded or dizzy at this stage particularly if the tachycardia is triggered. The tachycardia may be treated either by giving you medication or by stimulating the heart in a different position with the wires.
If a certain area of tissue is found to be causing your tachycardia (the "short-circuit"), your doctor may perform an ablation to eliminate the tissue. This is done with radio waves (radiofrequency ablation). The radio waves are delivered through the catheter to the tissue. If you notice any discomfort or pain, such as chest pain, neck or jaw pain, back pain, arm pain, shortness of breath, or breathing difficulty, let the physician know.
Once the procedure has been completed, the catheter(s) will be removed and the bleeding stopped by gentle pressure.