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Electrophysiology Facilities

UC San Diego Health offers exceptional electrophysiology facilities, including state-of-the-art electrophysiology (EP) laboratories and a "hybrid" operating room.

Electrophysiology Suites

electrophysiology lab at Sulpizio Cardiovascular CenterOur electrophysiology laboratories at the Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center and UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest are dedicated to diagnosing and treating abnormal heartbeats, known as arrhythmias. Procedures that do not require surgery, including diagnostic electrophysiology studies, catheter ablations (both endocardial and epicardial catheter ablation), pacemaker and defibrillator implantation, plus other procedures, are performed in the EP labs.

The EP laboratories include the latest available cardiac mapping and ablation systems, an intra-cardiac echocardiography system, large control rooms and live video-conferencing capabilities. Both routine diagnostic electrophysiology studies and catheter ablation procedures (such as atrial flutter and supraventricular tachycardia ablation) and complex ablations (atrial fibrillation, atypical atrial flutter, ventricular tachycardia, and epicardial ablation) are performed in these laboratories. Other complex procedures are also performed such as the Watchman™ implant and bi-ventricular defibrillator and pacemaker implantation.

Hybrid Operating Room

Dr. Victor Pretorius gives an overview of the hybrid operating room, where he performs laser lead extractions.

Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center's operating room includes the latest imaging technology, cardiac electrophysiology mapping and ablation equipment, and all equipment needed for open heart surgery. This allows two physicians — a cardiac electrophysiologist and a cardiothoracic surgeon — to perform surgeries together when appropriate, enhancing patients’ safety during these procedures (such as during concomitant epicardial and endocardial ablation, and laser lead extractions).

The hybrid operating room also is used for surgical ablations, including minimally invasive mapping and ablation procedures, which are performed when radio frequency catheter ablation alone is ineffective in patients with arrhythmias, such as atrial fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia.

Surgical ablations (e.g. MAZE operation for atrial fibrillation) are often performed as an invasive open heart procedure, but UC San Diego's hybrid operating room allows us to use a minimally invasive approach. Through small incisions and fiber optic visualization ports, we can perform ablations manually or with the da Vinci robotic system. This approach has a high success rate (usually higher than 95 percent), but most importantly, reduces discomfort, complications and length of hospitalization in most cases.