Cardioversion is a procedure in which an electrical shock is delivered to the heart to convert an irregular or fast heart rhythm (called an arrhythmia) to a normal heart rhythm.
During cardioversion, your doctor uses a cardioverter machine (diagram below) to send electrical energy (or a “shock”) to the heart muscle to restore the normal heart rhythm.
Cardioversion can be used to treat many types of fast or irregular heart rhythms. The most common irregular heart rhythms that require cardioversion include atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter. Life-saving cardioversion may be used to treat ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation (a rapid, life-threatening rhythm originating from the lower chambers of the heart).
Cardioversion has been recommended by your doctor to restore your heart rhythm to normal, so your heart can pump as it should. It is sometimes done in an emergency setting when fatal arrhythmias occur.
If the cardioversion procedure is recommended for you, please ask your doctor to discuss the specific risks and benefits of the procedure.
The procedure will be done in the Coronary Care Unit (CCU).
Cardioversion has been recommended by your doctor to restore your heart rhythm to normal, so you heart can pump as it should. It is sometimes done in an emergency setting when fatal arrhythmias occur.
In cases of atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation, prior to cardioversion, your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure. He would also discuss that a pre-procedure transoesophageal echocardiogram needed to be done. This is to rule out the presence of clot in the heart. Presence of a clot would be contraindicated for the cardioversion, as cardioversion increases the chance of dislodging the clot to the brain, causing a stroke.
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