Your Guide to Cardioversion Explained
In normal individuals the heart beats with a rhythm. Rhythm is important and if you notice anything abnormal you should suspect a heart condition. Your doctor will be able to establish abnormal heart rhythm after a check up and by conducting some medical tests on you. Lack of heart rhythm is known as arrhythmias in medical terminology. Arrhythmia is treatable and rhythm can be restored through medical procedures.
What is Cardioversion
Cardioversion is a medical procedure done on patients who do not have rhythmic heart beat. Cardioversion is a non-invasive procedure and is done by placing electrodes on the patient’s chest. The electrodes send electrical shocks to the heart which restores the heart’s rhythm. The advantage of using electrical shock is that the doctor will be able to instantly make an assessment of its effectiveness on the patient.
The purpose of doing Cardioversion is to correct the patient’s heart-beat rate. Heart beat abnormalities are usually of two types – one in which the heart beats too fast (called tachycardia) and the other being irregular heart beat (called fibrillation). The main reason why your heart loses rhythm is that the electrical signals that maintain heart beat do not travel through the right path which Cardioversion tries to correct.
Cardioversion performed with electric shocks show quick results the first time itself. Your doctor will be able to instantly assess its effectiveness on your heart. However, for some patients, electric shock Cardioversion may have to be repeated a couple more times to maintain your heart’s rhythm.
Post Cardioversion Life
To maintain your heart’s rhythm for the rest of your life, you will have to make some lifestyle adjustments. Lifestyles changes required include moderating consumption of caffeine rich beverages like coffee, tea and cocoa, and maintain your blood pressure at normal level. You will have to consume less of common salt (sodium), exercise regularly, stop smoking cigarettes and consume lesser alcoholic drinks. Maintaining a healthy body weight is also important.
Patients often confuse Cardioversion with defibrillation. The two are vastly different, and treatment is done on different principles. Defibrillation is actually an emergency procedure done on a patient whose heart has stopped beating or is quivering aimlessly. Cardioversion is not an emergency procedure.
Preparing for Cardioversion
Cardioversion is usually a scheduled procedure, which means that it is usually done in a hospital by a doctor with the help of supporting paramedics. Patients who undergo Cardioversion will be able to leave the hospital the same day, unless the doctor advices otherwise. Cardioversion is effective and most patients are able to get back their heart rhythm within a short span of time.
After a Cardioversion is done on your heart, you will be kept under observation for a few hours to ensure that there is no complication on your heart. You will also be required to take medications for a few weeks to keep your blood thin and prevent new blood clots from forming.
Cardioversion procedure is sometimes done through medication alone. The choice of one or the other depends upon the cardiologist’s perceptions about the patient’s condition and his/her condition at the time of treatment.
Learn More about Cardioversion
To learn more about Cardioversion, you are welcome to contact us anytime. You can fill in our form online and submit, and we will respond at the earliest.