Cardioversion is a corrective medical procedure that restores a normal heart rhythm in people that have abnormally fast heart rates or cardiac arrhythmia. There are two types of cardioversion. One type is a chemical cardioversion that is prescribed by a doctor and taken as a medication. And the other type is called electrical cardioversion which is performed in vascular clinics like Venocure.


Why do people choose cardioversion?

Non-emergency or elective cardioversion is done solely to treat arrhythmias. Your heartbeat is controlled by electrical signals in the upper right chamber (atrium) of your heart. When a heartbeat is abnormal, people report feeling a very fast heartbeat, shortness of breath, and complain of being very tired. Cardioversion is a safe and effective procedure to quickly resolve abnormal heartbeats.


What to expect

Some cardiovascular doctors may suggest medication only to restore an abnormal heartbeat. In some cases, medication is not enough and electrical cardioversion is recommended. Our vascular clinics in Brownstown and Dearborn are able to perform electrical cardioversion onsite. For this procedure, patients are given a sedative by IV to ensure there isn’t any pain or discomfort. The doctor will deliver an appropriate level of electrical shock through two paddles that are placed on your chest. The shock lasts less than a second and quickly resets the heart to a normal beat. Each patient is different and may require multiple shocks in order for the procedure to be successful. The electrical cardioversion typically lasts 30 minutes from start to finish.   


Post Procedure

If the procedure was done successfully, the results are immediate. Due to the sedative and the sensitive nature of the cardioversion, patients are typically monitored for an hour or so following the procedure. Feeling sleepy and tired is a normal side effect of the sedative and it is recommended that patients rest for the remainder of the day (or more depending on the doctor’s direction). Some patients are required to take medication regularly in order to maintain the restored heartbeat, again this is directed by your vascular physician.


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