Electrophysiology (EP) is the science of diagnosing and treating electrical activities of the heart, or heart rhythm disorders. Doctors specializing in EP treat irregular heartbeats that are the result of abnormal electrical impulses that cause the heart to beat too quickly, too slowly, or irregularly.

What is Atrial Fibrillation (Afib)?

Afib is when the heart’s two small upper chambers (atria) don’t beat the way they should. Instead of beating in a normal pattern, the atria beat irregularly and too fast. It is important for the heart to pump properly so the body gets the oxygen and food it needs.

How do you know if you have Atrial Fibrillation (Afib)?

Symptoms may include:

  • Heart sensations (or palpitations) that include irregular, thumping or pounding heartbeats
  • A feeling that the heart is racing
  • Chest discomfort or pain
  • Fainting or lightheadedness
  • Fatigue, shortness of breath, or weakness

The Goals of Treating Afib

  • Relieve Afib symptoms and improve a patient’s quality of life
  • Prevent blood clots to decrease the risk of stroke
  • Control the heart rate to allow the ventricles (lower heart chambers) enough time to fill with blood
  • Reset the heart rhythm to allow the atria (upper chambers of the heart) and ventricles to work together more efficiently

EP Procedures Performed at St. John’s Hospital Camarillo

When a person is having atrial fibrillation or flutter, the first step in treatment is to slow the beating of the ventricles so the heart can pump blood more effectively. Learn about Catheter Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation (Afib).

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