A Cardioversion is a procedure that is done to restore normal heart rhythm from Atrial Fibrillation or Atrial Flutter. It involves placing electrodes on a patient’s chest and back, along with an IV and oxygen. An anesthesiologist will administer IV anesthesia, which lasts for a few minutes, and in those few minutes the cardiologist will administer a brief, perfectly timed shock to the patient’s heart, using the electrodes on his chest. Careful monitoring is done throughout the procedure. Very often this works to make the heart rate and rhythm regular again.
Preparation for this procedure includes anticoagulant (blood thinning) medicines, sometimes for several weeks prior to the CV. Also, a patient coming in for a CV would not want to eat or drink for 8 hours prior, except that he may take some of his morning pills with a sip of water. We have CV patients check into Admissions at TMCA 1½ hours before the procedure start time.