Electrophysiology (EP), often used as a diagnostic tool, is also used to help correct arrhythmias through Catheter Ablation. Ablation is a treatment that cauterizes (burns) cells to eliminate rhythm abnormalities in patients.
During an EP study the electrophysiologist (a cardiologist with specialized training in the electrical system of the heart) will thread special electrode catheters (long, thin, flexible wires) to the heart, normally through the groin area. Once it is determined which area of the heart is responsible for the arrhythmia, a special wire carrying radiofrequency energy is used to cauterize the site. Catheter ablation is an outpatient procedure that normally takes only a couple of hours to complete and has few complications.