Cardioversion

Cardioversion is a procedure that may be offered to you when you experience an abnormally fast heart beat that makes you feel tired and unwell. Conditions such as atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter may be the reason why you have been referred to KGH to have a cardioversion procedure. In some cases, your heart beat can be slowed down or controlled with medication, but in certain cases a low frequency electrical current may be required.

There are two different ways you could undergo this procedure, they are:

Inpatient

  • A doctor will come to assess you in preparation for your procedure.
  • You may have an ECG exam and/or bloodwork done before your procedure begins.
  • You will not be able to eat or drink anything beginning at midnight the night before your procedure.
  • You may drink a sip of water to take your regular medications befoer your procedure.
  • We will bring you to a monitored area in either Cardiac Sciences Unit or the CV lab and an IV will be started if you do not already have one.
  • A member of your health-care team will attach two sticky pads to your chest.
  • We will also hook you up to a cardiac monitor, blood pressure cuff and oxygen probe.
  • An anaesthetist will give you some medicine through your IV to make you sleepy for the procedure. You will likely not remember the procedure taking place.
  • Once the procedure is complete, you will be monitored in a recovery area and once you have recovered, you can return to your regular hospital room.

Outpatient

  • An appointment will be booked for you by the cardiac care office.
  • You will not be able to have anything to eat or drink beginning at midnight the night before your procedure. You can drink a sip of water when you take your morning pills before you arrive at the hospital.
  • You will need to arrange for a ride home from the hospital after your procedure is complete. It is also recommended that you not drive for 24 hours after your procedure.
  • On the day of your appointment arrive at KGH and go our Armstrong wing to register for your procedure.
  • We will perform an ECG exam and possibly blood work upon your arrival.
  • You will then be taken to the CV lab on the third floor.
  • The procedure will take about one-to-two hours including recovery time.
  • If you wear a CPAP machine to sleep, you should expect to have a four hour recovery time. Please bring your CPAP with you to KGH.
  • Once inside the CV lab, you will have an IV started and two sticky pads will be placed on your chest. You will also be hooked up to a cardiac monitor, blood pressure cuff and oxygen probe.
  • An anaesthetist will give you some medicine through your IV to make you sleepy for the procedure.
  • Once the procedure is completed, you will be monitored in a recovery area.
  • When you are ready to go home, you will be given discharge instructions and your ride home will be called to come pick you up.