Cardioversion is a safe and effective treatment option for an abnormal heart rhythm called ‘atrial fibrillation’.
What is Cardioversion?
Cardioversion is simply the process of restoring a normal heart rhythm from an abnormal one. In the majority of patients, a normal heart beat is restored.
There are two types of Cardioversion
- Chemical cardioversion – is where medication is taken to restore the heart’s rhythm to normal. These medications work by altering the heart’s electrical properties to restore a normal heartbeat.
- Electrical cardioversion – is a procedure where an electrical current is delivered through the chest wall to the heart. This interrupts the abnormal electrical circuits in the heart to restore a normal rhythm. It’s basically like rebooting a computer.
Because no two people are the same.
GenesisCare brings together the right methods, technology and expertise to provide you with personalised care.
Here’s a quick overview of what you can expect during the procedure.
- You’ll be given a light anaesthetic.
- You’re connected to a cardiac monitor to allow observation of your heart rhythm.
- The electrical impulses are delivered through special electrodes placed on the chest (sometimes these are placed on the back). This interrupts the abnormal electrical rhythm without damaging the heart.
- The heart’s electrical system then restarts with a normal heartbeat in its place.
- It is also possible to do cardioversion with medications, although this does take a longer period of time than cardioversion procedure and often is not successful.
Who would say no to better care?
At GenesisCare, your treatment is only undertaken by trained cardiologists whose primary focus is your well-being. Complications of cardioversion are uncommon.
The main risk is embolisation. This is where a blood clot that has naturally formed in the heart moves to other parts of the body where it can cause complications. Your doctor can take steps to minimise this risk, such as prescribing blood thinning medication before the procedure. It is very important that you inform your treating cardiologist if, for some reason, you have not taken your blood thinning medication as prescribed as this affects the safety of the procedure. Should any complications occur, emergency equipment is readily available.