Cardioversion is a medical method that treats various types of irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias), including atrial fibrillation(A-fib).
A cardioversion procedure restores your heart's rhythm and beat to normal and improves the heart's ability to pump blood.
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There are two types of Cardioversion:[National Library of Medicine]
Chemical Cardioversion: This method uses medication to get your heartbeat back to normal.
Electrical Cardioversion: This method involves brief, low-energy shocks to regulate your heartbeat
Electrical cardioversion is a safe, effective, and reliable method for treating AFib, especially in unstable situations. [National Library of Medicine]
During this procedure, a synchronized transthoracic electrical shock is delivered to the heart through electrodes placed on the chest. [National Library of Medicine]
Only 4% of the supplied current passes through the heart; 82% of the transthoracic current is shunted by the thoracic cage, and 14% by the lungs.[National Library of Medicine]
The cardioversion procedure is typically performed under sedation or general anesthesia and takes about 20-30 minutes.
Cardioversion is usually followed by a period of anticoagulation therapy to prevent the formation of blood clots.
Cardioversion is used as a treatment option for both recently developed and long-standing AFIB.