Cardioversion is a medical treatment given to patients who experience abnormal heart rhythms. This condition is known as arrhythmias. The treatment is usually done by giving shocks to the heart by placing electrodes on the chest. However, in some cases cardioversion could be done through medications also.
You may need cardioversion if you have an arrhythmia that's causing troublesome symptoms. These symptoms may include dizziness, shortness of breath, extreme fatigue (tiredness), and chest discomfort.
Atrial fibrillation (A-tre-al fi-bri-LA-shun), or AF, is the most common type of arrhythmia treated with cardioversion. In AF, the heart's electrical signals travel through the heart's upper chambers (the atria) in a fast and disorganized way. This causes the atria to quiver instead of contract.
Atrial flutter, which is similar to AF, also may be treated with cardioversion. In atrial flutter, the heart's electrical signals travel through the atria in a fast, but regular rhythm.
Although less common, cardioversion also is used to treat rapid heart rhythms in the lower chambers of the heart.
Cardioversion usually is a scheduled procedure. However, you may need an emergency cardioversion if your symptoms are severe.
Cardioversion may not be the best treatment option if you have other heart conditions in addition to an arrhythmia. Talk with your doctor about whether cardioversion is an option for you.
Although the complications of the treatment are rare but, even if they appear measures can be taken by your health care provider to treat them. People with the following problems can experience some troubles after the surgery.
If blood clots are detected in a person before the treatment, the patient may be at the risk of having blood clots moving to other parts of the body after the treatment.
Some patients may experience other abnormal heart rhythm problems during or after the procedure.
Some patients may also experience low blood pressure after the treatment. However, there is no medication required for it and it usually improves on its own.
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