Electrical cardioversion is a treatment for a heartbeat that isn't normal, such as atrial fibrillation. It uses a brief electric shock to reset your heart's rhythm.
Before the treatment, you will get medicine to make you sleepy. You should not feel any pain.
Your doctor will put patches on your chest. Or you might get them on both your chest and back. They send a brief electric current to your heart. In most cases, this restores the heart's normal rhythm right away.
Cardioversion itself takes about 5 minutes. But the whole procedure will likely take about 30 to 45 minutes. That includes time to recover.
Abnormal heart rhythms sometimes come back after the treatment. You may need to take medicines. These may help your heart keep its normal rhythm.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Procedures can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your procedure.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter S549 in the search box to learn more about "Electrical Cardioversion: Before Your Procedure".
Current as of: December 6, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
©2006-2018 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.