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Interventionalist/Electrophysiologist risk of cancers?

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Hazelnut Goodness
10+ Year Member
Jan 3, 2007
  1. Fellow [Any Field]
Seriously. Already have a herniated disk myself.

Cancer certainly a thought far back in my mind though pretty much every interventional cards or EP I know has had some sort of ortho issue.
Is it just because of the lead or from standing so much? Hopefully fluoroless techniques will reduce some of that


Full Member
10+ Year Member
Oct 5, 2006
  1. Attending Physician
Is it just because of the lead or from standing so much? Hopefully fluoroless techniques will reduce some of that

Not sure but probably combo of both along with me needing some core strengthening having not been working out regularly for past couple years. It did prompt me to get newer lightweight lead which has helped tremendously. Took a month break from wearing lead and certain procedures, got an injection and have been doing well since. Certainly more cognizant to take lead off when I can and to Sit when I can during ablations.


Full Member
7+ Year Member
Oct 17, 2012
Yes, there is a very slight increase in cancer risk than the general population but I believe it is less than what pilots/airline attendants face.

The much more common issue is back pain and shoulder pain from wearing lead. Lets face it, most physicians are out of shape and have bad posture. A lot of physicians transition into general cardiology or diagnostic radiology as they get older because it gets tougher as time goes on.
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Full Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2010
  1. Fellow [Any Field]
But doesn't EP has one of the lower radiation exposure? A high volume IC i would imagine are at a much higher risk of radiation exposure esp those who does a lot of peripheral cases.
Depends a lot on your clinical practice. It’s about the same between EP and IC on average. CRT, LV and extraction cases use a ton. Some are moving towards reduced or zero fluoro for ablation. I still think you should be more worried about your back, get zero gravity if possible and buy lightest lead possible. Remember some cases (VT substrate mod) can be 7-8 hours Standing.

Be selfish and have techs work around you. Attributable cancer risk is small but 50 percent of EP have back problems.
Last edited:


Full Member
10+ Year Member
Jan 14, 2010
Sleep deprivation is what will take years off your life.

We (medicine) totally neglect just how harmful that is and put up with complete nonsense with zero support from our “leaders”.
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