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Doctor insights on: Pros And Cons Of Cardioversion

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Developed arythmia 18 months ago. Didn't have insurance at the time, so I let it go. Was still able to run, play soccer, swim. My Prime care physician recommended cardioversion....but that failed twice. Finally, Oct 1st of 2014, I had a 6 1/2 hour ablatio

Developed arythmia 18 months ago. Didn't have insurance at the time, so I let it go. Was still able to run, play soccer, swim. My Prime care physician recommended cardioversion....but that failed twice. Finally, Oct 1st of 2014, I had a 6 1/2 hour ablatio

Happy to help but: Can you try to focus in on the question but limited too much information, as otherwise it's unclear as to exactly what your question is. If you feel like it is rather complex, consider a formal consultation through HealthTap Prime. ...Read more

Dr. Samuel Hahn
118 doctors shared insights

Cardioversion (Definition)

Electrical conversion ...Read more


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Can you tell me the pros and cons of cardioversion?

Can you tell me the pros and cons of cardioversion?

Complex: I'm assuming you are referring to cardioversion for af. The benefits of cardioversion are the restoration of normal rhythm. The risks are: (1) stroke (must be anticoagulated before the procedure) (2) won't work (many patients will go back into af either immediately or over time; meds may help this) (3) pain (short, general anesthesia is usually used). ...Read more

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Who can have cardioversion?

Who can have cardioversion?

Almost anyone: If there is any compromise in bp, consciousness, breathing, anyone can be cardioverted. If more chronic, then making sure there is a low probability of a clot inside the heart (that could be disrupted and cause an embolic event), sorting the need for prophylactic blood thinning to avoid a clot, making sure the atria (upper heart chambers) are not too large (reduced success) help select patients. ...Read more

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How long is a cardioversion?

Less than 30 minutes: Sedation is given to the patient and an electrical shock is then given to cardiovert the heart back into a regular rhythym.This procedure usually is quite guick lasting in total 30 minutes or less. Delivery of the shock takes 2 seconds and then waiting to see if the rhythym has converted from one shock or reguires several more takes time. Time is then needed for the patient to be fully awake. ...Read more

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What is a sync cardioversion?

Timed shock: This is a cardioversion (shock) given to the heart that is timed to a certain point in the cardiac cycle so that the heart rhythm can be reset without causing further rhythm problems. This is the most common type of shock delivered for rhythms such as atrial fibrillation. ...Read more

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How risky is a cardioversion?

Low Risk: This is a very low risk procedure if proceeded by a tee, transesophogael echocardiogram. ...Read more

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Can cardioversion result in death?

Can cardioversion result in death?

Yes: There are complications of cardioversion such as stroke or rhythm problems that rarely could result in death. ...Read more

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What is synchronized cardioversion?

Timed shock: This is a cardioversion (shock) given to the heart that is timed to a certain point in the cardiac cycle so that the heart rhythm can be reset without causing further rhythm problems. This is the most common type of shock delivered for rhythms such as atrial fibrillation. ...Read more

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Cardioversion wont work on me. Why?

Cardioversoin: Electrical cardioversion doesn't work in every situation and for instance atrial fibrillation with a very large left atrium is very difficult to cardiovert. Depends on what your situation is... ...Read more

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How is a cardioversion administered?

With paddles: The patient is sedated in preparation for the shock.

Paddles are placed on the chest once the patient is asleep, and a properly timed shock is delivered to restore normal rhythm.

Sedation is allowed to wear off. ...Read more

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What's next if cardioversion didn't work?

AF Ablation & Rx: Intracardia arrythmia ablation. This procedure is done by an electrophysiologist cardiologist. And if that doesn't work the heart rate can be controlled by medication plus a blood thinner. ...Read more

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What is the function of an cardioversion?

What is the function of an cardioversion?

Restore: Restore regular heart rate and rhythm and to restore synchrony of the heart. ...Read more

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How many watts are used for cardioversion?

How many watts are used for cardioversion?

Cardioversion: We generally administer electrical cardioversion in watt-seconds or joules. For afib we usually use a synchronized shock of 100-200 watt-seconds, depending on patient size and other factors. For vfib at least 200 watt-seconds. Modern systems use a biphasic system. ...Read more

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What purpose is dc shock for cardioversion?

What purpose is dc shock for cardioversion?

Reset button: Enough current applied through the chest wall and into the heart will basically depolarize all of the heart muscle at once. As the heart electrically recovers, "normal" electrical activity has a chance to return - basically it resets the electrical activity of the heart. ...Read more

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How effective is cardioversion in helping af?

A good start: Cardioversion is a great first step in managing AF. The procedure is generally very low risk and is highly effective at restoring normal rhythm.

The hard part is maintaining normal rhythm. The heart tends to want to go back into AF without rhythm controlling medications or elimination of the trigger for AF (such as excess alcohol, uncontrolled blood pressure, sleep apnea, etc.). ...Read more

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How effective is cardioversion for helping af?

How effective is cardioversion for helping af?

Effective: If the patient is an appropriate candidate: symptomatic, af unresolvable by medication only, other medical factors the cardiologist will consider, then yes, cardioversion is effective for regaining normal sinus rhythm. Like all therapies, it is not 100% effective and must be evaluated for each individual patient. ...Read more

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What are the steps of an elective cardioversion?

What are the steps of an elective cardioversion?

Check list: I'm assuming this is for atrial fib? Full anticoagulation for at least 4 weeks. Nothing by mouth 4 hours before. Pads and monitor leads placed on chest and/or back. Iv line secured. Iv sedation. Synchronized cardioversion. Supervision till awake. Home. ...Read more

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Will my life be normal again after cardioversion?

Completely!: Cardioversion is an extremely well-tolerated procedure, to force the heart back into a normal rhythm. The electricity used is generally a low dose, and there is no known lasting adverse effects to the heart from this. For someone suffering symptoms from an abnormal heart rhythm, the symptoms should be 100% eliminated after successful cardioversion, i.e. Back to your old self completely! ...Read more

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What disorders can cardioversion be used to treat?

What disorders can cardioversion be used to treat?

Several: Cardioversion can convert most ventricular arrhythmias (i.e. Originating from bottom part of the heart) to normal rhythm, and several supraventricular (i.e. From top part of the heart). Atrial fibrillation is the most commonly cardioverted rhythm, with very high success rates. Other supraventricular rhythms (e.g. Psvt, atrial tachycardia, avnrt) can also be treated, though not as reliably. ...Read more

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How do people feel 24-48 hours after cardioversion?

Fatigue: Patients often report fatigue, less palpitations, less shortness of breath and often they feel better - when it works. Unfortunately it does not always work. ...Read more

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How do people feel a day or two after a cardioversion?

Fine: Unless there is a complication, you should feel fine. At worst, there could be some muscle soreness but that usually is not the case. ...Read more

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Why is it sometimes necessary to repeat cardioversion?

Why is it sometimes necessary to repeat cardioversion?

See Below: If the patient has recurrent, irregular heart rate. ...Read more

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Is cardioversion risky? Is it an established procedure?

Is cardioversion risky? Is it an established procedure?

Shocks the heart: Cardioversion is the process of shocking the heart, usually to get it to stop some type of arrhythmia (or irregular heartbeat) and resume a regular heart beat ... If used when the heartbeat is regular, it can cause an arrhythmia that may be life-threatening, such as ventricular fibrillation ... ...Read more

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What is the difference between cardioversion and pacing?

Cardioversion and pa: Cardioversion is usually a single large shock delivered to the heart during an arrhythmia to stop it and let it restart with a normal rhythm. Pacing is small shocks applied to restore normal timing to the cardiac events, especially when the intrinsic rate/rhythm are too slow. ...Read more

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What medications should you stop prior to a cardioversion?

What medications should you stop prior to a cardioversion?

Speak to your doctor: There are no medications that routinely must be stopped prior to cardioversion. However, in certain cases, your doctor might wish you to hold meds that control heart rates from going too fast, to minimize the risk of causing excessively slow heart rates once you are back in a normal rhythm. ...Read more

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What is the meaning of synchronized external cardioversion?

Shock : This is a procedure using patches placed on the skin over your heart. A synchronized "shock" is given at a particular time during the heart beat. The ideas to reset an abnormal heart rhythm, and regain normal rhythm. ...Read more

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What would cause mental status changes after a cardioversion?

A stroke: There is a risk of a clot getting loose from the heart and if it travels to the brain, a stroke could develop. As medications used for anesthesia are rather short lived it would be unlikely that the medication would cause the mental status change except very transiently. ...Read more

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What results can be expected from a successful cardioversion?

What results can be expected from a successful cardioversion?

Rhythm: For cardioversion from atrial fibrillation to normal sinus rhythm success would be restoration of normal conduction. Patient may notice decreased palpitations, less fatigue, less dizziness, less shortness of breath and other symptoms. ...Read more