Cardioversion is a treatment given to patients who suffer from abnormal heartbeats (arrhythmias).
The medical procedure is done by giving electric shocks to the heart through electrodes placed on the chest. Cardioversion can also be done through medication depending on the severity of the condition.
Once the procedure is complete, the patient is allowed to go back home the same day.
The procedure is done to rectify the heartbeats which are too fast (tachycardia) or are irregular (fibrillation). In both the conditions, electric signals which make the heart beat at normally do not travel through upper chambers of the heart.
The complications of the treatment are rare and even they occur, they can easily be treated with proper advice from the doctor. The risks mainly associated with cardioversion are:
If a person suffering from arrhythmias has blood clots in the heart, the treatment may move the clots to different parts of the body. However, the condition may be treated with blood thinning medication.
After the procedure, many people may experience a lowered blood pressure. This condition does not require a treatment as it improves on its own.
When the electrodes are attached to the skin, it may cause the skin on the chest to burn.
Also Read: What to Expect During Cardioversion?
Although the treatment is planned well in advance, depending on the severity of the situation your doctor may also ask you to undergo the procedure on an immediate basis.
You will be asked not to drink or eat anything before 12 hours of the procedure. If your doctor has asked you to take medication, you must drink only enough water to gulp in the medicine.
After the procedure, your healthcare provider will have to closely watch for any symptoms of complications. You may feel dizziness for many hours after the treatment. Although you will be allowed to go home the same day of the procedure, you may have to spend few hours under the observation in the hospital before that.
You cannot get back to performing normal activities immediately after the procedure. You will need help from someone to drive you home and it will take you few hours to regain your complete consciousness.
Even if there were no clots were detected before the procedure, you will be prescribed blood thinning medications after the treatment to avoid any blood clot formation in the future.
Apart from these, patients must also take proper care of their diet and include foods like salmon, flax seed, oatmeal, and almonds to your routine diet.
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