Electrophysiology study and ablation discharge instructions (patient information)

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Electrophysiology study and ablation discharge instructions

Overview

When could I drive after the procedure?

What medications should I take after the procedure?

Should I take any OTC pain medications?

When may I resume my regular activities?

When can I go back to work?

Follow-up care

When to seek urgent medical care?

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor-In-Chief: Mohammed A. Sbeih, M.D.[2]

Overview

Intracardiac electrophysiology study (EPS) is a test to look at the heart's electrical function. It allows doctors to check for abnormal heartbeats or heart rhythms.

Ablate means "to destroy." Cardiac ablation is a procedure that is used to destroy small areas in your heart that may be causing your heart rhythm problems. During the procedure, small wires called electrodes are placed inside your heart to measure your heart's electrical activity. These electrodes may also be used to destroy the bad areas of your heart.

Pressure to reduce bleeding is put on the area where the catheters were inserted into your body. You will be kept in bed for at least 1 hour, and maybe up to 5 or 6 hours. Your heart rhythm will be monitored during this time.

Your doctor will decide whether you can go home on the same day or if you will need to stay in the hospital overnight to continue monitoring your heart. You will need someone to drive you home after your procedure

For 2 or 3 days after your procedure, you may have these symptoms:

  • You may feel tired.
  • Your chest may feel achy.
  • You may notice skipped heartbeats, or times when your heartbeat is very fast or irregular.

Your doctor may keep you on your medicines, or give you new ones that help control your heart rhythm.

When could I drive after the procedure?

You should not drive after the procedure without asking your doctor when you could do that. This is different for everyone.

What medications should I take after the procedure?

Ask your doctor whether you should go back to taking the medications you were on before the procedure. Be sure your doctor knows about everything you are taking.

Should I take any OTC pain medications?

You may take acetaminophen (Tylenol) every six hours as needed for pain in the area where the catheter was placed. Please be sure you are not taking more than one product containing acetaminophen, and do not take more Tylenol than what is recommended on the label.

When may I resume my regular activities?

You may resume your regular activities one week after the procedure. Avoid lifting, pushing, or pulling anything heavier than 10 pounds in the first week after the procedure. Also avoid any exercise that causes you to hold your breath and bear down with your abdominal muscles. Begin your exercise program one week after the procedure at half your usual routine, then gradually work back to your full routine. Please ask your doctor about your exercise instructions.

When can I go back to work?

It depends on the type of your work. You can ask your doctor when you can go back to work.

Follow-up care

You will be informed about your follow-up appointments before leaving the hospital.

When to seek urgent medical care?

Call your doctor if:

  • Your wound looks infected (redness, increased drainage, swelling, painful).
  • You feel dizzy or short of breath.
  • You have chest pain.
  • You have hiccups that do not go away.
  • You were unconscious for a moment.

Sources

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007368.htm

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003867.htm


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