Cardioversion is a medical procedure done to restore an irregular heart rhythm. There are two types of cardioversion: pharmacologic and electrical cardioversion. In pharmacologic cardioversion, medicines are used to restore arrhythmias and in electrical cardioversion, electric shock is used to restore arrhythmias.
- Cardioversion takes about 30 minutes.
- You will be instructed to stop eating or drinking at least 8 hours before the procedure. If electrical cardioversion is to be done, you will also be asked not to apply lotions, powders or any other cosmetic products on your chest and back, 24 hours before the procedure.
- You will be sedated through an intravenous line in your arm.
- The doctor will give an electrical shock through two paddles; one placed on your chest and other on your back or both will be placed in the front.
- The shock will last for less than a second and will help you reset your heart rhythm.
- Your doctor will check if the heartbeat is regular. It varies for different people. Some may require only 1 shock treatment while others may require 2 or more to reset normal heart rhythm.
- The procedure quickly restores normal heart rhythm.
- The skin where the paddles have been placed for electrical cardioversion may develop irritation.
- May not be successful in restoring heart rhythm always.
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