Cardioversion Care

Learn what care is required for the Cardioversion procedure. Find out what you need to do prior to the procedure, how long it will take, if you will be required to stay in the hospital and what the postoperative care is.

Cardioversion Details


What to Expect Prior to Procedure

For elective cardioversion:

  • To diagnose the condition, you will have an electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG). An EKG can record the heart's electrical activity.
  • You may be given blood thinners for several weeks before the procedure.
  • You may undergo a transesophageal echocardiogram . This is an ultrasound test to look for blood clots in the heart.
  • Arrange for a ride to and from the procedure.
  • Arrange for help at home after the procedure.
  • The night before, eat a light meal. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
  • Check with your doctor to see if you should take your medicines normally on the morning of the procedure.

For urgent cardioversion, there is no time for to prepare for the procedure.

Anesthesia

You will have a short-acting deep sedation, so you will be unaware of the procedure happening.

Description of the Procedure

Electrodes or paddles will be applied to the chest. An electric charge will be delivered through these electrodes or paddles to the chest and into the heart. This resynchronizes the electrical activity of the heart. It allows the heart's normal pacemaker to resume normal function. The process may need to be repeated. The electric charge may be increased with each attempt.

Immediately After Procedure

You will be monitored closely in a recovery room until you are fully awake. You may be allowed to go home after the procedure. If a medicine needs to be started to keep your heart in rhythm, you may need to stay in the hospital.

How Long Will It Take?

The procedure itself is usually less than 30 minutes.

How Much Will It Hurt?

Sedation prevents pain during the procedure. If you have an urgent cardioversion, you may be partially aware during the procedure. You may feel a jolt that some people liken to a kick in the chest.

Average Hospital Stay

If you had nonemergency cardioversion, you may be sent home once you are in stable condition.

People who need emergency cardioversion may be admitted to the hospital. This may be done for further observation or because of the illness that caused the event.

Post-procedure Care At Home

Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions . You may be put on blood thinners for a few weeks after the procedure. In this case, blood levels of these medicines will need to be monitored via blood tests, usually weekly. You may also be put on a medicine called an anti-arrhythmic. This type of drug will help prevent the abnormal heartbeat from happening again.


Learn

Learn what Cardioversion is
What Is
Learn what the procedure is. Find out how it is performed.
Reasons For Cardioversion
Reasons For
Find out why and when this procedure should be done.
Cardioversion Complications
Complications
Learn about possible complications and what might increase the risk of them.
Cardioversion Details
What to Expect
Find out how long it will take, what they will be doing and what to expect afterwards.
Cardioversion Results
Results
What are the next steps and other possible tests needed after you have received the results.
When to Contact Doctor about Cardioversion
Call Your Doctor
What to look out for and when to call your doctor after a procedure has been done.

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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright ©2014 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved. Source: EBSCO