Cardioversion

Our heart rhythm specialists may recommend electrical cardioversion for quick treatment of your symptoms. Cardioversion can safely restore your heart’s normal rhythm in less than a minute.

Why choose the Henry Ford Health System for cardioversion?

At Henry Ford, you’re in the expert hands of a team that specializes in arrhythmias, including electrophysiologists, nurses and imaging specialists.

We perform noninvasive cardioversion in our specialized electrophysiology, or EP, labs. These labs have all the tools we need to test the electrical activity of your heart and determine if cardioversion is right for you.

How does cardioversion work?

Cardioversion is a procedure that corrects an erratic heartbeat or a heart that beats too fast. We use cardioversion to treat a number of arrhythmias, including:

During the procedure, we deliver a small electrical shock to your heart. This shock disrupts the arrhythmia and “resets” your heart to a normal rhythm.

Cardioversion procedure: What to expect

Cardioversion is a quick and safe procedure. The entire process takes about two hours, including recovery time. The actual electrical shock lasts only a few seconds.

Some heart rhythm disorders can cause blood clots, so you may need to temporarily take blood thinners before and after your cardioversion. Doing so reduces your risk of complications during the procedure, as well as afterward.

During a cardioversion procedure, we:

  • Give you medicine to help you sleep
  • Place electrode patches on your chest and back that connect to a defibrillator
  • Use the defibrillator to deliver an electrical current to your heart
  • Use one or more shocks to restore your regular heartbeat
  • Monitor your heart rhythm throughout the procedure

After your procedure

People receiving cardioversion return home the same day. Your doctor may recommend taking blood-thinning medications for several weeks to prevent blood clots. You may also need to take antiarrhythmic medications to further control an arrhythmia.

Each person reacts differently to cardioversion. Your arrhythmia might return. Some people may need another cardioversion procedure to maintain a normal heart rhythm. Others may need catheter ablation for further treatment.

Take the next step.

Let us help you schedule an appointment.

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Please call 911 if you have an emergency or urgent medical question.

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Henry Ford Health System is committed to ensuring our Deaf or hard-of-hearing patients and visitors have equal access to all services. We provide the appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified sign language interpreters, TTYs and other assistive listening devices, at no cost. To request assistance, call 313-916-1896 or email [email protected].

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