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What is electrical cardioversion?

Electrical cardioversion is a treatment for atrial fibrillation. Although cardioversion often results in a normal rhythm, this may be only temporary. For this procedure, a patient receives a short-acting anesthesia, then an electrical shock on the chest wall to return the heartbeat to normal.
Imran K. Niazi, MD
Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology
Electrical cardioversion is a controlled jolt of electricity (shock) delivered to the heart through the chest wall by adhesive patch electrodes or metal paddles. The shock stops all electrical activity in the heart for an instant and this allows the normal heart rhythm to take over. Electrical cardioversion may be used to restore normal heart rhythm if you have atrial fibrillation (AF).

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.