Cardiac Catheterization & Electrophysiology - PIH Health - Whittier, CA

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Cardiac Catheterization & Electrophysiology

Cardiac catheterization is a test to check your heart. The test is often used to find the cause of chest pain. It can include a coronary angiogram to look at the flow in arteries that deliver blood to your heart. If the test shows arteries that are blocked or narrowed, the doctor can treat the clot or plaque (angioplasty), and by using balloons and/or stents can open the arteries during the procedure. Many heart conditions may be diagnosed with cardiac catheterization.

Electrophysiology (EP) is a medical specialty that examines the electrical system of the heart. EP studies are used to diagnosis exactly where the irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) is coming from.  It can be fixed through catheter based ablation procedure or by implanting a device (pacemaker/defibrillator) to address the arrhythmia. Sometimes, the problem can be fixed during the study with a procedure called radiofrequency ablation. PIH Health’s EP team is led by expert Cardiac electrophysiologists, with specialized training to diagnose and treat arrhythmias.

Expert Care for Your Heart

Since 1977, PIH Health has led the region in offering a full range of services to care for your heart and blood vessels. You benefit from our expert doctors and surgeons and our two cardiac catheterization labs. You can trust your heart care to us—we have the experience of performing more than 2,000 cardiac catheterizations each year.

Advanced Technology & Procedures

We use the most advanced technology and procedures—including radial artery access, angioplasty, stenting and electrophysiology studies—to deliver outstanding care.

Reasons for Cardiac Catheterization

Beyond finding and treating blocked or narrowed arteries, cardiac catheterization may be used to help understand the overall condition of your heart. The procedure can also:

  • Show heart abnormalities
  • Reveal possible problems in people about to have open-heart surgery
  • Diagnose many heart conditions
    • Congenital (present at birth) heart defects
    • Coronary artery disease
    • Heart failure (cardiomyopathy)
    • Heart valve issues
  • Take tissue samples (biopsy)
  • Repair minor problems, like holes in the heart or a stuck heart valve
  • Open a blocked artery or graft in the heart

Reasons for Electrophysiology

If you have irregular heart rhythms, you may experience dizziness, shortness of breath or fainting. An irregular heartbeat may also be fatal, so you need to get medical attention as soon as you feel something different.

At PIH Health, we offer electrophysiology (EP) services—a heart care specialty—to help find the exact location in the heart causing the abnormal heartbeat. Our comprehensive testing program may also include an electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG), blood tests, CT (computed tomography) imaging and a tilt-table test. EP studies help:

  • Assess the need for a pacemaker or an implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD)
  • Determine your risk for future heart problems, including sudden cardiac death
  • Evaluate whether medicine is effectively controlling abnormal heart rhythms
  • Pinpoint arrhythmias that start in the heart and help identify the best treatment

Our advanced imaging technology provides your doctors with a detailed, 3-D view to help them accurately map the electrical activity in your heart. Once your doctors know the type of irregular heartbeat, they can determine the best treatment to fit your specific needs.

Slow heart rhythms (bradycardia) may require a pacemaker to help your heart beat properly.

Rapid heart rates (tachycardia) may respond to catheter based radiofrequency ablation (RFA), which is designed to destroy the abnormal electrical pathway, allowing the heart to beat normally.

Other abnormal rhythms may need a device called an implantable cardiac defibrillator to stabilize your heart rate and extend your life.

Detailed Images Guide Top-Notch Treatment

Our advanced imaging system gives our doctors the best possible view of your heart and the blood vessels throughout your body, including those in the kidneys and legs. That means they can see these delicate and complex structures in great detail, so they can precisely target your treatment. Because the images are digital, you and your entire medical team have instant access to them any time and from anywhere in the world.

Learn more about what you can expect during cardiac catheterization and electrophysiology in our online Health Library.

Get Help Today

Ask your doctor for a referral to work with our experts in heart care and vascular services at PIH Health. To get more information or schedule an appointment, call us today at 562.698.0811 Ext. 11240.

Health Library

Health Library

Explore health conditions, treatments and procedures.