Cardioversion is used to change an irregular heartbeat to a regular rhythm.
Cardioversion is a simple procedure and takes only minutes. Defibrillator pads (shocking pads) are placed on the chest and, after the patient is asleep, a shock is delivered. More than one shock may be given to convert the heart rhythm back to normal.
Before the procedure:
- Have nothing to eat or drink after midnight.
- Take your medications as directed by your Hurley physician.
- Arrange for someone to drive you to and from the hospital.
During the procedure:
After admission to Hurley Medical Center’s cardiac holding unit, you will be prepared for the procedure. You will be placed on a heart monitor and a blood pressure cuff will be applied. An IV line will be placed in your arm for fluids and medications. You will be given anesthesia to deeply sedate you, but you will breathe unassisted. At your Hurley cardiologist’s direction, a shock will be delivered, which you will not feel. After your heart rhythm has normalized, you will be awakended. You can be discharged one to two hours after the cardioversion procedure.
After the procedure:
You can sit up and resume a normal diet once you are awake enough. You may have slight burns at the shock sites similar to sunburn, and you can apply an anesthetic cream on these.
Resume all medications as ordered by your Hurley physician. Resume a normal diet and activity. Follow up with your physician in seven to ten days.