Table of Contents
Definition of Cardioversion Procedure
Cardioversion – 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.