Cardioversion is a procedure to correct arrhythmias, which is when your heart beats too fast or irregularly. Arrhythmias may prevent your body from getting the blood and oxygen it needs. Cardioversion delivers a shock of electricity to your heart to help it return to its normal rhythm.
What to Expect
- You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure.
- Caregivers may insert an IV into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen.
- An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your procedure. Tell your caregiver if you or anyone in your family has had a problem using anesthesia in the past.
- You will be given anesthesia medicine to help you stay asleep during the procedure.
- During cardioversion, your caregiver will send an electrical shock to your heart muscle. The shock is given at a certain time during your heartbeat that will best help it return to normal.
- After your procedure, you will be taken to a room where you can rest until you are fully awake. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is okay.
- Caregivers will monitor your heart rhythm and watch you closely for any problems. When they see that you are okay, you may be able to go home.
- You must arrive one hour before you are scheduled for your procedure.
- Do not drink or eat anything after midnight.
- Because you will receive a sedative during the procedure, you may not drive for 24 hours and you must make arrangements for someone to drive you home.