Interventional procedures on the heart's electrical system
Cardioversion involves a controlled electrical shock to return your heart to a normal rhythm.
Patches are placed on your chest and back. Through the patches, energy is delivered to your heart in an attempt to break your abnormal heart rhythm and restore a regular rhythm.
You will be connected to several machines to check your blood pressure, cardiac rhythm, and oxygen supply.
An intravenous (IV) line will be started so you can be given a short-acting anesthetic or sedative. Your doctor and nurse will perform the cardioversion after the anesthesia has taken effect.
The cardioversion only takes a few minutes. After you wake up, you will feel groggy for about 1 hour.
During an electrophysiology study (EP), your doctor may find an extra electrical path that developed.
That extra path is causing your rapid heart rhythm.
If this happens, your doctor may choose to do an ablation (to destroy abnormal tissue).
The catheter used for the EP study will be placed close to the abnormal electrical pathway. Heat (radiofrequency) energy passes through the catheter.
The tip of the catheter heats up and destroys the small area of the heart tissue that contains the abnormal pathway. This stops the short circuit. This procedure can take up to 8 hours.