What is an elective Cardioversion ?
Cardioversion involves the delivery of a high-energy shock through the chest wall to the heart muscle. This high-energy impulse activates all of the cardiac muscle and conduction tissue simultaneously, restoring a normal heart rhythm, with a success rate of around 90%.
Why should I undergo Cardioversion ?
Atrial fibrillation (AF) and Atrial Flutter are common arrhythmias that may be treated with cardioversion. The success rate of cardioversion with atrial fibrillation is generally better than 90%. Chances of success are lower when the atrial fibrillation has been present for more than several months or the left atrium is enlarged.
What you can expect ?
This procedure is performed in a closely monitored hospital-based setting. An intravenous medication is given to sedate the patient. Two electrode patches or paddles are applied to the chest and back. Once the setup and sedation are complete, the cardioversion takes only a few seconds as an electrical current is sent through the paddles.
After being monitored for a couple of hours, most patients are able to go home. Due to the residual effects of anesthesia, a family member or friend should drive as patients who receive sedation cannot drive for at least 24 hours. Some patients have irritation of the skin in the area where the shock was delivered; an emollient cream such as Aquaphor or Eucerin may be applied to reduce the irritation.