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Your doctor may recommend cardioversion if you have an abnormal heart rhythm such as atrial fibrillation (AFib). Cardioversion delivers mild shocks to your heart to restore a normal heart rhythm.
At Dignity Health Southern California, you’ll find doctors, nurses, and experienced staff who are committed to serving each person with dignity and humankindness. We provide specialized heart care, including cardioversion, in Southern California. Use our online Find a Doctor tool to make an appointment near you at one of our locations in Long Beach, Northridge, Downtown LA, Glendale, and San Bernardino.
Cardioversion delivers electrical impulses to the heart. The impulses target pacemaker cells to “reset” the heartbeat and regulate an arrhythmia.
Some people think that cardioversion is the same as defibrillation, but it’s different. Defibrillation delivers intense electrical impulses to your heart if it is beating erratically. It’s used to correct severe, life-threatening arrhythmias.
Cardioversion may be the only treatment you need for your arrhythmia. Depending on your condition, you may need further treatment such as medication. Some people need cardioversion more than once as part of their overall treatment plan.
Cardioversion is considered a relatively low-risk procedure. However, you should always talk with your doctor to understand the goals, benefits, and risks of any treatment.
You’ll have several tests before your doctor plans a cardioversion to make sure you are a good candidate. A key test is a transesophageal echocardiography (TEE). It’s performed to determine if you have blood clots in your heart, a complication of arrhythmias. Cardioversion can shake clots loose, causing a stroke or pulmonary embolism. If you proceed with cardioversion, you may need to take medicine before and during the procedure to inhibit blood clots.
During a cardioversion, a nurse or technician will put soft, sticky pads on your chest or back and give you an intravenous (IV) line. You will receive medicine to make you sleep. Then, your heart will receive several low-energy bursts of electricity. Once a normal heart rhythm has been restored, your health care team will move you to a comfortable recovery area.
Cardioversion is usually an outpatient procedure, so you can go home a few hours afterward. However, if you have other medical conditions or experience complications, you may need to be monitored in the hospital overnight. After cardioversion, your chest may be sore. Keep communicating with your doctor about how you feel during recovery, so they can make adjustments.
At Dignity Health Southern California, humankindness is at the core of health care. Talk to one of our specialists today to restore your normal heartbeat in Southern California.
Dignity Health doctors provide personalized cardioversion treatment in Southern California.