A Cardioversion is the use of electrical current to "shock" your heart back into a normal rhythm. For this procedure you will be given medication to make you sleep. The procedure is performed by using a defibrillator. Special pads placed on your chest and used to send a brief electric shock to your heart. You will not remember the procedure. Your physician will then inform you if any further treatment is needed. You will likely go home 2-3 hours after the procedure.

Preparing For Your Procedure

  • You may have clear liquids (any fluid which is transparent, such as water, apple/cranberry/grape juice, black coffee or tea) until you leave for the hospital.
    • NO dairy products, including cream, or non-transparent fluids, such as orange/tomato juice.
    • NO solids after midnight the night before.
  • Please shower with soap and water prior to your procedure.
    • Do not use creams, lotions or oils.
    • Deodorant is acceptable.
  • If you wear glasses or hearing aids, please wear them that day.
    • Please leave all other valuable at home such as money, watches, and jewelry.
  • Arrive on time and bring your insurance card (please contact your insurance providers for coverage details).
  • Please make arrangements for someone 18 years or older to be with you during your stay and to drive you home.
    • Depending on your procedure you may be discharged the same day or stay overnight to be discharged the following day.

Can I Take Medications?

  • Please bring home medications in original bottles the morning of your procedure
    • Do NOT take the day of the procedure: any Diabetic Medications
    • Continue to take: Brilinta, Plavix, Effient, Aspirin, Xarelto, Eliquis, Savaysa, Coumadin or Warfarin.

What Can I Expect?

  • You will be given anesthesia medications for your procedure so you will not be awake for your Cardioversion.
  • You will need to be in recovery for 2-3 hours after your procedure.
  • Medication may still need to be taken after Cardioversion to keep the heart rhythm normal.
  • You will need someone to drive you home after your procedure.

What Will My Recovery Be Like?

  • During the first few days after the procedure, you may feel tenderness on your chest wall where the cardioversion pads were placed.

    • Please tell your doctor if your symptoms are prolonged or severe.

  • You may resume normal activity after you are discharged home from the hospital.

  • You may have an Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) taken to determine if your heart is staying in a normal rhythm.

  • A Holter Monitor may need to be worn at some time to check your heart rhythm after you are discharged from your procedure.

  • It is important to continue taking any medications for your heart rhythm even after you feel better and your heart rhythm is improved.

  • You will be evaluated by your cardiologist to determine if you can stop your blood thinner medications or any medications to control your heart rhythm.

  • If you will need a return to work slip, please ask for this prior to discharge.

If you have questions or concerns about preparing for this test, call your Cardiologist's office.

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