Cardioversion is a procedure that can restore a fast or irregular heartbeat to a normal rhythm. A fast or irregular heartbeat is called an arrhythmia. This is commonly used to treat arrhthymia commonly known as Atrial Fibrillation. Arrhythmias can prevent your heart from pumping enough blood to your body. A Cardioversion can help put the heart back into a normal rhythm.
Cardioversion is done two ways: using an electrical procedure or using medication.
For the electrical procedure, your heart is given low-energy shocks to trigger a normal rhythm. You're temporarily put to sleep before the shocks are given. This type of cardioversion is done in a hospital as an outpatient procedure. "Outpatient" means you can go home after the procedure is done.
Using medication to correct arrhythmias also is a form of cardioversion. This type of cardioversion usually is done in a hospital, but it also can be done at home or in a doctor's office.
Cardioversion is an enternal noninvasive therapy to treat many types of abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) most commonly atrial fibrillation. During the procedure, EKG patches and cardioversion pads are placed on your chest near your heart and sometimes on your back. An electrical shock is used to reset the heart back to normal sinus rhythm. Prior to the procedure you are prepared in a special cardiac unit in the hospital. An IV line will be placed in your arm. Your cardiologist, or surgeon, will give you medication through the IV to sedate you before the procedure.