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Cardioversion

Cardioversion is a treatment which aims to return your abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) to a normal pattern. This is done by sending electrical signals to your heart by attaching electrodes on your chest.

The procedure occurs while you are under a short-acting general anaesthetic or heavy sedation. Once the electrodes have been attached to your chest, they are connected to a defibrillator and you will be given one or more controlled electric shocks. The defibrillator monitors your heart rhythm throughout the procedure, which usually lasts no more than 10 minutes.

The majority of patients recover from the procedure to go home the same day, although some may need to remain overnight. After cardioversion there may be some slight discomfort in your chest where you received the shock.

In most cases cardioversion successfully restores a normal heart rhythm. However, in some cases the arrhythmia returns and this could result in repeating the procedure or your consultant considering other procedures.

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Procedures

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