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Dignity Health: Treating Irregular Heart Rhythms with Cardioversion

Cardioversion is a medical procedure that restores a normal heart rhythm in someone with an irregular heartbeat. During cardioversion, electrodes are placed on the chest to send mild electrical shocks to the heart. For most people, cardioversion quickly restores a normal heart rhythm.

The professionals at St. Joseph's Heart & Vascular Institute are dedicated to helping our patients achieve and maintain a healthy heart. If you’d like to learn more about cardioversion in Stockton and the surrounding areas, Find a Dignity Health Doctor. From our advanced technologies to personal care, you can trust our cardiology team to deliver quality, personalized treatment.


Why Cardioversion is Performed

If you have an arrhythmia (an abnormal heart rhythm) such as atrial fibrillation (AFib), your doctor may recommend cardioversion at a treatment if medications haven’t been successful. Cardioversion sends electrical signals to your heart cells, called pacemakers cells, to essentially “reset” your heart rhythm.

In some cases, cardioversion can correct an irregular rhythm without any further treatment. In others, we use cardioversion as the first step toward managing an arrhythmia with medication or other therapies. Some people may need multiple cardioversions at part of their treatment.


What to Expect from Cardioversion at Dignity Health

A cardioversion will be performed by one of our expert cardiologists at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Stockton. During this procedure, sticky pads are placed on your chest and/or back. An intravenous (IV) line is inserted into a vein in your arm. You’ll be given anesthesia to put you to sleep during the procedure. Your heart will be given several mild bursts of electricity. Once a normal heart rhythm is restored, you’ll be taken to the recovery area.


Cardioversion Recovery

In most cases, you’ll be able to go home after your cardioversion is complete. If you have complications or other medical conditions, you may need to stay in the hospital overnight so you can be monitored. You may have some soreness in your chest area after the procedure. This is normal. Depending on your condition, your cardiologist at Dignity Health may perform cardioversion with other procedures and other therapies or medications. Trust us to provide expertise in cardioversion and other diagnostic procedures.

St. Joseph's Heart & Vascular Institute performs state-of-the-art cardioversions in the Central California region.