Definition of Cardioversion Procedure

Cardioversion ProcedureCardioversion – The application of an electrical shock through the chest wall to the heart, administered under sedation, to alter the heart’s electrical rhythm.

The cardiologist performs cardioversion in a hospital setting staffed and equipped to respond to cardiovascular emergencies. There is a slight risk for heart attack or stroke.

Cardioversion is most commonly a treatment for arrhythmia such as atrial fibrillation, in which the heart’s electrical patterns have gotten out of synchronization in some way.

The effect may be permanent, long-lasting, or short term. Some people experience slight skin irritation at the site of the electrodes or paddles on the surface of the chest following cardioversion.

Because the procedure requires a general sedative, there may also be grogginess for several hours.

Most people go home within 4 to 6 hours and return to their usual activities the following day.

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