Electrical cardioversion is an outpatient procedure that helps restore normal heart rhythm.
Electrical cardioversion procedure
Before cardioversion begins, a nurse or technician will put soft pads called electrodes on your chest and possibly your back.
You will be given anesthesia to help you fall asleep for the duration of the procedure.
The electrodes are attached to a cardioversion machine and your heart is given low-energy shocks to trigger a normal rhythm. You will not feel any pain from these shocks.
Who needs cardioversion?
Your physician may recommend cardioversion if you have an arrhythmia causing dizziness, shortness of breath, extreme fatigue and discomfort in your chest.
Cardioversion is often recommended for people suffering from atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter and arrhythmias in the lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles).
How well cardioversion works depends on what type of arrhythmia it's used to treat.
There is a risk that a fast or irregular heartbeat may occur again, which means you may need more than one cardioversion in your lifetime.