What can I expect when I go home after my electrophysiology (EP) study?

Here's what happens when you go home.

The first 48 hours: You’ll need to take some specific steps to take care of yourself, and you will need to watch for symptoms.
  • What you will feel: You might feel sore from several hours of lying flat -- this will go away in a day or so. The catheter site will be bruised, but this should go away in a week or so. Your heartbeat might feel strange at times, as the heart muscle adjusts to the healthier heartbeat.
  • What to watch for: Watch for swelling or bleeding at the catheter site, difficulty breathing, or swallowing problems. Also, tell your doctor if you feel fatigue or chest discomfort that is severe or that continues beyond the first few days.
  • Cautions and steps to take: Make sure you do not bend or squat. Don't do intense activity such as climbing stairs, running, or lifting objects that are heavy for you. Take short walks of 5 to 10 minutes, several times a day. Take an appropriate stool softener, if necessary to relieve constipation.
  • Caring for the catheter site: Avoid hot baths, hot tubs, or swimming pools for the first 5 days or until the wound is closed. Showers are okay after 48 hours.
  • Returning to work or school: When you can go back to work or school depends on your physical condition and your work/school activities. Many patients can go back to work or school within a week. Check with your doctor.
  • Ongoing medication, monitoring, or both: If your doctor prescribes medication on the basis of an EP study, take it as prescribed, even after you feel better. Keep follow-up appointments so your heart can be monitored.
Atul Bhatia, MD
Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology
Once home after your electrophysiology (EP) study, limit your activity for the first 24 hours. Move about, but don’t strain or try to lift heavy objects. Shower the day after your procedure, but wait for another day or two before taking a bath.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.