When a heart problem involves an irregular heartbeat, the solution may lie in the organ’s electrical system rather than muscle weakness or diminished blood supply. Electrophysiology (EP) addresses the problem with long, flexible wires called electrode catheters, which transmit electrical impulses to and from the heart.
The most familiar electrophysiology device is the pacemaker. Every year Excela specialists implant more than 200 of them. But there are different pacemakers for different individual needs. Some require special placement, such as Implanatable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs) and Biventricular ICDs, which are delicately connected to three different heart chambers.
Excela Health electrophysiology experts also use catheters for monitoring specific areas of the heart, called Diagnostic EP. Additional EP services include:
•Automatic defibrillator implantation: An ICD device is placed inside the chest so it can help to regulate a heartbeat when it is dangerously fast.
•Pacemaker implantation: A pacemaker device is placed inside the chest so it can help to regulate a heartbeat that is too slow.
•Loop recorder implantation: A device is placed under the skin to capture and record data about heartbeat regularity.
•Ablation: An electrode catheter delivers energy to tiny areas of the heart to treat an irregular heartbeat.
And, if a device is no longer needed, we can remove it.
The critical role that pacemakers play in our patients’ quality of life means that these devices must be monitored carefully to make sure they’re doing their job properly. All Excela Health hospitals feature ongoing pacemaker care through Pacemaker Clinics.
Electrophysiology services are offered at the Westmoreland Hospital campus.