Electrophysiologists are board certified cardiologists with specialized training in disorders of heart rythms. These "electricians" of the heart, evaluate patients with problems relating to the electrical system of the heart. Impulses which begin in the heart's natural pacemaker (the sinoatrial node, or SA node) travel down specialized muscle cells in the heart which stimulate the contraction and movement of the heart muscle and allow it to pump blood throughout the body.
Problems with heart rythms can be very common or rare and can be quite simple to manage and non-life threatening, or very difficult to treat and fatal. Your cardiologist may refer you to an electrophysiologist for evaluation and help with treatment.
Your first visit to the electrophysiologist will involve the taking of a thorough history and review and ordering of other specialized tests. ECG's, holter monitors, and event monitors are commonly used first line tests in the evaluation of patients with electrical system problems.
Invasive testing such as the placement of longer term monitors to detect abnormalities in heart rythm are also sometimes inserted under the skin.
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