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What Is It?

Cardioversion is a procedure done to put your heart back into a normal rhythm.

How Do I Prepare?

  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before.
  • Discuss with your doctor what medications you should take.
  • If you are taking medication to thin your blood (e.g., Coumadin, Warfarin, Plavix, or aspirin), you should check with your doctor about stopping these medications before this procedure.
  • Medications that your doctor has instructed you to take can be taken with a small amount of water.
  • If you wear dentures, they must be removed for the procedure.
  • Be sure to arrange transportation. Someone must stay with you at the hospital until discharge and drive you home. Transportation will be verified before the procedure. You may use a taxi cab for your transportation only if you have a person accompanying you other than the taxi cab driver. Your procedure may be cancelled if these arrangements are not made.

What Happens During the Procedure?

  • Consent is signed.
  • An intravenous needle (IV) is inserted.
  • An EKG is done.
  • You will be given medication to make you sleepy and relaxed and to minimize discomfort. On occasion, general anesthesia is used.
  • Oxygen will be used throughout the procedure.
  • The procedure takes about 40 minutes.
  • Recovery time is about one hour.