Electrophysiological Study (EPS) / Catheter Ablation

An EPS is a test that looks at the rhythm of the heart in greater detail. It is carried out by a specialist electrophysiologist.

Thin flexible tubes called catheters are inserted into a vein, usually in the groin, under local anaesthetic. The catheters are passed up to the heart. This can induce an arrhythmia (an abnormal heart rhythm). 

If an abnormal rhythm is identified, an ablation  may be undertaken. This is a treatment that aims to correct or control certain types of heart rhythm problems. This uses either heat (radiofrequency ablation) or freezing (cryoablation) on the area of your heart that’s causing the arrhythmia. This treatment creates scar tissue which breaks abnormal circuits in the heart, and/or destroys areas of the heart muscle which are triggering arrhythmias. 

The electrophysiologist will discuss the procedure and outline the risks (typically 1% risk of serious complications). These are usually undertaken as day-case procedures.