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Cardioversion is one of many potential therapies to restore a normal heartbeat. If you have an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia), such as atrial fibrillation (AFib), your doctor may recommend cardioversion. Cardioversion works by sending mild shocks to the heart to effectively ‘reset’ the heartbeat. Some patients find that cardioversion alone puts an end to their symptoms, other find the need for additional treatment.
At Dignity Health of Arizona, you can trust your heart to our experts. With a full range of cutting edge services, we are a nationally recognized leader in heart and vascular care. We have a variety of treatment options for arrhythmia, and we are dedicated to finding the one that best suits your needs. To learn more about cardioversion in Arizona, Find a Doctor online or call 855.231.6180.
Cardioversion is a relatively low-risk procedure, however your doctor will perform several tests prior to the treatment to ensure your safety. A transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) will be done to determine if you have blood clots in your heart. Blood clots are a complication of arrhythmias, and can make cardioversion dangerous. Your doctor may also recommend that you take an anti-clotting medication prior to cardioversion treatment.
Your cardioversion procedure will take place at one of our nationally recognized hospitals. You will be given an intravenous (IV) line, and a sedative to put you to sleep for the duration of the treatment. Painless, low-energy electrical impulses are sent to your heart via two paddles — one on your chest and one on your back. During the procedure, your heartbeat is monitored by a series of soft pads applied to your chest.
Unless there are complications, most patients are able to return home a few hours after treatment. You may be sleepy, your skin may be slightly irritated where the paddles were placed, and you may have some soreness in your chest. Keep in mind that your doctor may use cardioversion in combination with other therapies like medications for treating your arrhythmia.
Concerned about your cardiovascular health? Try our free cardiovascular risk educational tool. This tool helps you determine what medical and lifestyle risks you may have when it comes to your heart health. It will also educate you on the many ways Dignity Health can assist you in treatment and prevention.