Your guide to EPS (electrophysiology) and ablation 

Do you have an EPS test or ablation treatment coming up? Watch this video to find out what to expect.

Read about diagnosis and risk assessment for heart disease

Transcript of Your guide to EPS (electrophysiology) and ablation

BRITISH HEART FOUNDATION THE ROAD AHEAD:YOUR GUIDE TO EPS AND ABLATION This film will show you what to expect if you are havingan electrophysiological study or an ablation treatment. I'm Anne Mountney, I'm 66,and I live in Dorking, Surrey. KEEN WALKER I'm here to have a cardiac ablation, because I was sufferingfrom tiredness and palpitations. Hopefully I shall be able to do thingsmore with my grandchildren, because recently it's been making mevery tired, and I'd like to travel. My name is Mark Gallagher. I'm the Consultant Electrophysiologistand Clinical Director of Cardiology at St George's Hospital, London. Ablation simply meansdestruction of tissue, which sounds bad, but what we're doingis destroying tiny amounts of tissue to break abnormal circuits in the heart, or remove areas of the heart musclethat are triggering arrhythmias. (narrator) Sometimes the heart beatsin abnormal rhythms, called arrhythmias. An electrophysiological studyis used to identify the electrical pathways in your heartthat are causing these. Special catheters, long thin tubes,are inserted into your groin, and then moved up through your veinsand into your heart. A small electrodeat the tip of each catheter will detect where the unwantedelectrical impulses are coming from. If the exact areas of the heartcausing the issue are identified, then an ablation may be performed. This is when radio frequency energy is used to destroy or freezethese particular areas of heart tissue. This will hopefully prevent theabnormal heart rhythms from happening and restore a normal rhythmto your heart. OK there? - Yes, thank you.- Jolly good. (Mark) This procedure can be doneeither under general anaesthetic or under local anaesthetic.Today we've used a local. An ablation typically takessomething around two-and-a-half hours. The equipment I'm using hereis a cryoballoon, a freezing balloon. So we've just isolated that vein. Using the electrical activitythat's causing the problem, we can track downthat little bit of tissue. And now we're going to treat the veinby freezing it. Ablation with radio frequency energycan be painful. It's not an excruciating pain. It's the sort of pain that almost anyonecan just grit their teeth and put up withfor the few minutes that it lasts. It is a bit uncomfortable... ..in my chest. (Mark) Perfect result, all of the veinsare successfully treated. - (Anne) Thank you very much.- We've got a very good probability that we'll remove the episodes ofatrial fibrillation. Care after an ablation. Now, the onlyformal restriction we place on people, they cannot drivefor two days after the procedure. We always advise peoplenot to take on any strenuous exertion and to avoid any heavy or stressful workfor a week or so. I'm feeling fine. A couple of timesit was a little bit uncomfortable, but nothing as bad as I was expecting. So it will be very niceto be able to keep up with my husband, because he's a very fast walkerand I've been trailing behind recently. So I'm quite looking forward to that. (narrator) Heart disease is stillthe single biggest killer in the UK. But for over 50 years,we've tirelessly pioneered research that has helped transform the lives of people living with heartand circulatory conditions. Join our fightfor every heartbeat in the UK. Every pound raised,every minute of your time, and every donation to our shopswill help make a difference. BHF THANKS ST GEORGE'S HOSPITALFOR HELP WITH THIS FILM FIGHT FOR EVERY HEARTBEATbhf.org.uk BRITISH HEART FOUNDATION

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