Cath Lab Patient Resources

Cath Lab Patient Education

Below are some of the common procedures we perform in the cath lab, along with preparation instructions for each procedure.

Electrophysiology Study (EP Study)

The purpose of an EP Study is to determine the source of cardiac rhythm problems. It allows for the doctor to accurately diagnose and appropriately treat a patient’s heart rhythm. This procedure is done using IV sedation so that the patient is comfortable, but not entirely asleep. Read more about EP Studies.


A Cardioversion is a procedure that is done to restore normal heart rhythm from Atrial Fibrillation or Atrial Flutter. It involves placing electrodes on a patient’s chest and back, along with an IV and oxygen. Read more about Cardioversion.

Cardiac Radiofrequency Ablation

(AV Node, WPW, SVT, Atrial Flutter, Ventricular Tachycardia, Atrial Tachycardia, RVOT, AVNRT)

RF Ablations are done in an attempt to treat or cure a patient’s arrhythmia (usually fast or irregular). Read more about RF Ablation.


Pacemakers are placed in a patient’s chest to increase his or her heart rate. A patient is scrubbed and draped, and IV sedation is given, which makes the patient comfortable, but not completely asleep. Read more about pacemakers.


Defibrillators, otherwise known as ICDs, or Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillators, are prescribed for patients who have had or who are at risk of having life-threatening tachycardias (fast and dangerous heart rhythms). The unit monitors the heart rate at all times and is able to pace or shock a patient back into a regular rhythm, if needed. Read more about defibrillators.

Tilt Table Test

A Tilt Table Test (TTT) may be ordered for a patient who has unexplained fainting, or syncope, in order to determine the cause of this fainting. It is done by placing a patient on a table, which has a foot-board. Read more about Tilt Table Test.

Watch Dr. Prager's seminar on syncope

Transesophageal Echocardiogram

A Transesophageal Echocardiogram, or TEE, is a test that uses ultrasound technology to take a close look at the heart valves and chambers. The patient is given IV sedatives to make him quite sleepy, and his throat is sprayed with a numbing medicine. Read more about TEE.

Heart Catheterization/Stents

A cardiac catheterization is a test used to diagnose coronary artery disease and other cardiovascular conditions. Read more about heart catheterization/stents.

Video Resources

Watch videos on atrial fibrillation, stenting, and pacemaker insertion for further information.