A cardioversion is a procedure to correct an abnormal heart rhythm (such as atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter) by shocking (using electrical impulses) the heart back to normal rhythm. This procedure is performed at the hospital.

What to expect:

Sometimes your cardiologist will perform a TEE to rule out a clot in the left atrium. If no clots are visualized the cardioversion will proceed.An IV will be started for fluids and medications. A mild sedative will be given through the IV. You will also have adhesive skin electrodes applied to the chest and then attached to a heart monitor. Large patches will also be placed on your chest. These will deliver the shocks needed to convert your heart into normal sinus rhythm. The procedure will take approximately 15 to 30 minutes.

Pre instructions:

PT/INR will be drawn either the day before or the morning of your procedure.Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your procedure.Take your morning medications with sips of water only.

Post procedure:

  • Recovery time is approximately 2 hours.
  • You will not be able to eat or drink any thing for approximately 2 hours after the procedure unless directed otherwise from your physician.
  • After 2 hours if liquids are taken without any problems, then you may resume eating.
  • Mild throat soreness for several hours after the test is normal.
  • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery for at least 12 hours after test.
  • You may have red or irritated skin from the large patches that delivered the shocks.

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