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Cardioversion is an electric shock treatment to the heart to restore normal heart beat. Normal heart beat in medical jargon is called sinus rhythm. Cardioversion is often performed for patients, who have irregular heart beats, including atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter. Patients` blood is thinned for at least 4 weeks prior to this procedure. This treatment is performed with deep sedation, and patients don`t feel or remember this treatment. This is usually takes up to 30 minutes and is performed as an elective, day case procedure. 

Irregular heart beats involve rapid, irregular electrical impulses in the upper chambers of the heart, called atria. This can lead to inefficient pumping and potential complications such as blood clots, stroke, or heart failure.

Cardioversion is often recommended when tablets fail to control symptoms or when rapid restoration of normal heart beat is necessary to improve heart function and reduce the risk of complications. Following successful cardioversion, patients stay on anticoagulation and often require ongoing treatment with antiarrhythmic medications.

While cardioversion is generally safe and effective, there are potential risks and complications, including skin burns, failure of restoring normal heart beat, stroke, and recurrence of arrhythmias
at a later stage. Therefore, careful patient selection, thorough evaluation, and close monitoring before, during, and after the procedure are essential to ensure optimal outcomes and minimize risks. Overall, cardioversion plays a crucial role in the management of certain arrhythmias
, helping to restore normal heart rhythm and improve quality of life for affected individuals.

For our patients we routinely arrange another follow up appointment after successful cardioversion. Subsequent visit usually consists of another ECG to confirm that the normal heart beat has been maintained and a consultation with Dr Bart, which is an opportunity to ask any questions and go through the long term management strategy. 

07984 245 550

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