Electrical cardioversion is a medical procedure that can restore your heart to a normal rhythm if it consistently beats erratically or too fast. This treatment often is used if you have atrial fibrillation (AFib) or an atrial flutter – an abnormal heart rhythm similar to AFib.
The electrical cardioversion procedure includes placing electrodes on your chest that send small electrical pulses to your heart. Your doctor will give you a mild anesthetic medication so you don’t feel any pain.
Your doctor can also perform cardioversion treatment using medications.
Learn more about AFib.
Our heart and vascular specialists are among the most experienced professionals in the region. During your cardioversion and long-term heart-care treatment, you can expect:
Your doctor will give you personalized guidelines for preparing for your electrical cardioversion treatment. However, general preparation instructions include:
We perform electrical cardioversion procedures in an Aurora hospital, in one of our electrophysiology labs. During your treatment:
In most cases, we’ll keep you in the hospital for an hour to recover from the electrical cardioversion procedure. Your doctor will give you detailed recovery and follow-up instructions. A few things to keep in mind:
In some cases, electrical cardioversion can permanently restore your regular heart rhythm. However, it’s not a long-term solution for everyone. It’s possible that your AFib could return.
If you continue to experience AFib, your doctor will talk to you about long-term treatment options. For instance, you might need to take anti-arrhythmia medications on a regular basis.