How can I prepare for electroconvulsive therapy for schizophrenia?

Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine
A physician will guide you through the electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) process. It will be important to have a thorough physical exam, including a blood test and electrocardiogram (ECG), before undergoing ECT. These tests and exams will make sure that you are in good physical health.

Before the procedure, you will be briefly checked again to make sure your heart is healthy. People with heart problems may have serious side effects from ECT. Before the procedure begins, you will take a muscle relaxant and you will get general anesthesia. These medications will keep you still, unconscious, and safe during the procedure, to reduce the risk of injury. You may also have an intravenous (IV) catheter along with supplemental oxygen.

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