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Cardiac Mapping

What is cardiac mapping?

Cardiac mapping is an electrophysiology study, or EP study for short, and helps our staff find out what is causing a heart rhythm problem like arrhythmia.

Mapping the electrical activity of the heart is a critical component for the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease.

Many advanced therapies (such as ablation for the treatment of arrhythmias) require detailed mapping.

How is cardiac mapping done?

We perform EP studies in the electrophysiology (EP) labs at Lee Health. An electrophysiologist, a cardiologist with special expertise in the heart's electrical systems, will perform your study. We give you medication and a local anesthetic to help you relax.

We make a small incision in your thigh or your neck. We then insert one or more thin, flexible tubes called catheters into the incision and carefully guide them through your blood vessels and to your heart.

The ends of these catheters have tiny electrodes. The electrodes allow the electrophysiologist to gather data about the electrical signals that are flowing through your heart, helping to pinpoint the cause of your problem.

The electrodes can also provide tiny electrical impulses to your heart. We can use the pulses to safely "turn on" an arrhythmia and to identify the problem area.

Your doctor can then test various medications or electrical impulses to see if they can "turn off" the arrhythmia, helping to determine the best treatment for you.

What is heart ablation?

In some cases, we will also perform a procedure called an ablation. Ablations can often cure an arrhythmia by painlessly targeting a small region of abnormal tissue inside the heart.

Are you asleep during an EP study?

An EP study typically takes about two hours and does not require general anesthesia. Many patients stay awake during the study and sometimes ask questions, while other patients fall asleep.

How long is the recovery after the procedure?

Most patients will be able to go home the same day, but your doctor will notify you when it is safe to resume normal activities. You might feel pain or mild discomfort from the incision site for a few days following the procedure. Patients should continue to drink water and rest while maintaining a regular diet.

Cardiology expertise at Lee Health

Lee Health's team of cardiologists is ready to help you understand your unique artery and cardiology needs. The EP Lab at Lee Health performs hundreds of cases every year. For questions related to cardiovascular care or services, email us at hearts@leehealth.org

What cardiac conditions might use cardiac mapping?

Cardiologists draw a map of how signals flow between each heartbeat during an EP investigation. Heart arrhythmia and atrial fibrillation are common conditions that might use heart mapping as treatment.

  • Atrial Fibrillation

    Lee Health uses the latest treatments to help you control and manage irregular -- and uncomfortable -- heartbeats.

  • Cardiac Arrhythmia Treatment

    Lee Health's experts use a variety of procedures to help relieve symptoms of cardiac arrhythmia or heart rhythm disorder.

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