What happens immediately after an electrophysiology (EP) study?

After the procedure, you will be monitored as you wake up and until you are ready to go home.
  • Monitoring: You will be moved to a recovery unit. You will be connected to a telemetry monitor that shows your heart rate and rhythm.
  • Recovery: You will need to lie flat for 4 to 12 hours. You can watch movies, and you may want to bring a favorite toy or book.
  • Going home: Some patients can go home at the end of the day, while other patients will need to stay overnight. Your doctor will decide when you are ready to leave the hospital.
Atul Bhatia, MD
Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology
After your electrophysiology (EP) procedure, you will be taken to your room or a recovery room. Your heart rate, blood pressure and dressings are checked while you lie in bed for about six hours, keeping your leg straight to prevent bleeding. You may have tenderness and bruising at the insertion sites. You may eat when you feel up to it. Your doctor will discuss results with you and your family.
After an electrophysiological (EP) study procedure, an invasive procedure that tests the heart's electrical system, you may be taken to the recovery room for observation or returned to your hospital room. You will remain flat in bed for a few hours after the procedure. The circulation and sensation of the limb where the catheter was inserted will be monitored. A nurse will monitor your vital signs, the insertion site, and circulation/sensation in the affected leg or arm.

You should immediately inform your nurse if you feel any chest pain or tightness, or any other pain, as well as any feelings of warmth, bleeding, or pain at the insertion site in your leg or arm.

Bedrest may vary from two to six hours depending on your specific condition. In some cases, the sheath or introducer may be left in the insertion site. If so, the period of bedrest will be prolonged until the sheath is removed. After the sheath is removed, you may be given a light meal.

You may be given pain medication for pain or discomfort related to the insertion site or having to lie flat and still for a prolonged period.

You may resume your usual diet after the procedure, unless your physician decides otherwise.

After the specified period of bed rest has been completed, you may get out of bed. The nurse will assist you the first time you get up, and will check your blood pressure while you are lying in bed, sitting, and standing. You should move slowly when getting up from the bed to avoid any dizziness from the long period of bed rest.

When you have completed the recovery period, you may be discharged to your home unless your physician decides otherwise. If this procedure was performed on an outpatient basis, you must have another person drive you home.

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