Q- What is Electrical Cardioversion?
Cardioversion is a medical procedure that restores a normal heart rhythm in people with certain types of abnormal heartbeats (arrhythmias). Cardioversion is usually done by sending electric shocks to your heart through electrodes placed on your chest. It's also possible to do cardioversion with medications.
Cardioversion is usually a scheduled procedure that's performed in a hospital. You should be able to go home the same day as your procedure. For most people, cardioversion quickly restores a normal heart rhythm
Q-Why might I need electrical cardioversion?
Electrical cardioversion can help treat several different abnormal heart rhythms. It is commonly used to treat atrial fibrillation (AFib). Electrical cardioversion is also useful for treating other abnormal heart rhythms, like an atrial flutter, which is similar to AFib, certain kinds of supraventricular tachycardias and ventricular tachycardia (VT).
Before trying electrical cardioversion, your healthcare provider may try to reset the heart rate in other ways. This might include the Valsalva maneuver. This is a method where you hold your breath and increase the pressure in your belly. This can help bring the heart rate down. Your healthcare provider may then try medicines to change the rhythm to normal. If these methods don't work, electrical cardioversion is often the next step. In other cases, electrical cardioversion is the first recommended step.
Q- What are the risks of electrical cardioversion?
Risks may vary based on your age, the type of abnormal heart rhythm you have, and your other medical conditions. Ask your healthcare provider about your risks. Common risks are: Other less dangerous abnormal rhythms, Temporary low blood pressure, Heart damage (usually temporary and without symptoms), Heart failure, Skin damage Dislodged blood clot, which can cause stroke, pulmonary embolism, or other problems
Q-What happens during electrical cardioversion?
Talk with your healthcare provider about what to expect during your procedure. It may differ if you need emergency electrical cardioversion. In general, you can expect the following-
- Soft electrode pads are placed on your chest and maybe on your back. You might need some areas of skin shaved to get the electrode pads to stick.
- These electrodes will connect to a cardioversion machine.
- You will receive medicine through a vein in your arm to make you fall asleep.
- Using the cardioversion machine, a programmed high-energy shock is sent to your heart. This should convert your heart back to a normal rhythm.
- Your team will closely monitor your heart rhythm. They will watch for any signs of complications.
- The procedure only takes a few minutes. When it is done, you will wake up.
Q- What happens after Electrical Cardioversion?
Ask your healthcare provider about what to expect. You will likely:
- Wake up 5 to 10 minutes after the procedure
- Be closely watched for signs of complications for several hours
- Feel sleepy for several hours after the cardioversion. Arrange to have someone drive you home
- Go home the same day as the procedure
- Have some redness or soreness on your chest that lasts for a few days.
Please watch the video below on Electrical Cardioversion-