Diagnostic Electrophysiology Procedures

Electrophysiology is a subspecialty of Cardiology. Most of the patients we see for heart rhythm disorders have already been seen by the cardiologist and have also had several tests of the heart performed already. However, there are specialized tests that can help us to diagnose the cause of your heart rhythm problems.

One of the most valuable pieces of information that we need includes an ECG (a recording of your heart's electrical rhythm) during symptoms. We will often prescribe a heart monitor that you can wear at home for up to 30 days. This is called a loop recorder. This device allows you to record your own ECG at the time that you are experiencing your symptoms. At times, we need to monitor your heart for longer periods of time. In this case we can implant a tiny heart monitor under your skin which can provide ECG monitoring for up to 2-3 years. These devices, called implantable loop recorders, are monitored wirelessly and allow you to make recordings at the time you are experiencing symptoms. However, if your heart goes too slowly or too quickly, the monitor will automatically record your ECG so that we can review them at a later time.

Sometimes we need to observe a specific symptom or heart rhythm directly. In patients who have fainting spells, we often perform a tilt table test. This is a test designed to elicit a fainting spell while we are observing your heart rhythm and blood pressure. This not only helps us to make a diagnosis, but may also help to guide treatment. Similarly, electrophysiology tests are invasive tests of the heart's electrical system. By placing special wires called catheters through the veins into the heart, we can record electrical activity associated with every heartbeat. We can also measure the timing of the electrical signals traveling from the top of the heart to the bottom of the heart. Finally, we can test to see if the heart is prone to rapid or dangerous heart rhythms. This test provides a lot of diagnostic information about your heart's electrical system. This test can also help us to decide upon an appropriate treatment.

Patient Safety

At Arrhythmia Consultants of Connecticut, we take patient safety very seriously. Hospitals are rated by an independent organization based upon certain criteria. Hospitals are rated according to how well they protect their patients from errors, injuries, accidents, and infections. While many hospitals are good at keeping their patients safe, some hospitals aren't. As many as 440,000 people die every year from preventable errors in hospitals. We firmly believe that patient safety is our number one priority. We are proud to be affiliated with St. Francis Hospital which is one of the few hospitals in Connecticut to achieve an A rating for safety according to the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade. In our own electrophysiology laboratory, we have instituted several practices and protocols designed to increase patient safety. All of our physicians are board-certified electrophysiologists. Our electrophysiology labs are designed to reduce the risk of infections. Prior to every case, a safety huddle is performed by the physicians, nurses and technologists involved in the case in order to review information relevant to safely proceeding. Finally, a "time out for safety" is performed just before starting a case.

We are committed not only to providing you with the most advanced cardiac arrhythmia care possible but also with the safest care possible in order to achieve the best outcome. 

Ellison Berns, M.D.

Dr. Berns has been a leader in this region since 1988. He developed the electrophysiology programs at St. Francis Hospital, Hartford Hospital and Connecticut Children's Medical Center. He is a founding partner of Arrhythmia Consultants of Connecticut.

Neal Lippman, M.D.

Dr. Lippman has advised area hospitals on quality control for its pacemaker programs. He is currently the Director of EP services for St. Francis Hospital and has led the development of one of the premier lead extraction programs in the country.

Aneesh Tolat, M.D.

Dr. Tolat is experienced in radiofrequency ablation and cardiac device implantation. He has published on performing cardiac device implants on anticoagulated patients and has experience performing all EP procedures without the need to discontinue anticoagulation.

Joseph Dell'Orfano, M.D.

Dr. Dell'Orfano has been with ACC since 2001 and is the only Electrophysiologist in the region performing complex ablations, including atrial fibrillation ablations, without the need for fluoroscopy and without exposing the patients or staff to harmful X-rays.

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