Before the procedure begins, a nurse will help you get ready and you will change into a hospital gown. You may keep your clothes in a locker, or you may give them to a family member.
You will lie on a bed, and the nurse will start an intravenous (IV) line in a vein in your arm or hand. The IV is used to deliver medications and fluids during the procedure.
EKG patches and adhesive cardioversion pads will be placed on your chest and, sometimes, on your back. Men may have their chest hair shaved if necessary.
No. You will receive a medication through your IV to make you fall asleep during the procedure.
While you are asleep, the doctor will use the cardioverter machine (defibrillator) to deliver specific amounts of energy to your heart through the cardioversion patches. The shock interrupts the abnormal electrical rhythm and restores a normal heart rhythm.
Although the procedure only takes a few seconds, several attempts may be needed to restore the normal heart rhythm.
The procedure itself lasts only a few minutes. However, the preparation and recovery time for the procedure may add a few hours to your appointment.
Please plan to stay at the hospital for up to 2 hours for your procedure.
No. In most cases, you will go home the day of the procedure.