What risks are involved in an EPstudy/RFA?
The EP study is a very low-risk procedure and should a complication arise, it will be dealt with at once.
The world wide complication rate for EP/RF studies is less than 0.5%.
Although most people undergoing EP/ RF studies do not experience any complications, you should be aware of the following risks:
- Local bleeding or haematoma (blood collection) - this may occur at the catheter insertion site.
- Rapid abnormal heart rhythm - this may actually cause you to pass out for a very short period of time and in some cases a small electric shock may be required to restore your normal rhythm.
- Perforation or damage - very slight chance that this may occur to either a heart chamber or to the wall of one of the arteries.
- Heartblock - depending on the location and type of your abnormal rhythm being ablated, there is a chance of damage occurring to the heart’s normal electrical system. This may be temporary, but permanent damage would result in a pacemaker being inserted.
Major complications - stroke, heart attack, death are very rare. More than 1200 patients have been successfully treated at The Royal Melbourne Hospital during the last eight years by radio-frequency ablation, and no major complications have occurred.
Radio-frequency is an effective and safe way to cure patients suffering from palpitations.
Please do not hesitate to discuss any aspect of the procedure including potential complications with your doctor prior to your procedure.