A clinical cardiac electrophysiologist, or cardiac EP, is a doctor who treats rhythm problems of the heart. A cardiac EP is a type of cardiologist. A cardiologist is a doctor who has had three or more years of extra training to treat problems of the heart and blood vessels.
A cardiologist has at least 10 years of medical training. This includes 4 years of medical school, 3 years of training in internal medicine, and 3 or more years in other special training. He or she must then pass a test from the American Board of Internal Medicine.
A cardiac EP is a cardiologist who gets extra training beyond that required for board certification in cardiology. He or she is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in the specialty of cardiovascular disease. This focuses on caring for patients with diseases of the heart and blood vessels. These include heart attack, valve disease, and some arrhythmias. A cardiac EP then gets certified in the subspecialty of clinical cardiac electrophysiology. This focuses on testing and treating the heart for rhythm problems.
A cardiac EP is not your primary health care provider. This doctor only works with patients who need special heart-related care. Your health care provider may refer you to a cardiac EP if you have symptoms of heart rhythm problems. These may include dizziness, fainting, and fluttering feelings in your chest. Or you may see a cardiac EP if you have risk factors for dangerous arrhythmia, such as heart disease. You would likely see a cardiac EP in a hospital or cardiac clinic.
Cardiac EPs test for, diagnose, and treat abnormal heart rhythms. Abnormal heart rhythms are called arrhythmias. EPs need to know about how the heart works, what kind of arrhythmias there are, and what may cause them. They also know how to do different kinds of tests. They know how to implant special devices in the body to regulate heartbeat. And they can prescribe medication, lifestyle changes, and make other recommendations.
A cardiac EP can diagnose and treat conditions such as:
A cardiac EP can perform certain procedures and prescribe treatments. These include:
A cardiac EP can also implant devices in the body to help reset or control heart rhythm. These include:
If you would like to make an appointment with an electrophysiologist, please call us at 314-996-3627 or contact us online.