Why did my doctor order a cardioversion procedure?
What preparations will I need to make?
How is the test administered?
How long will the procedure last?
What will the recovery be like?
Will my insurance cover this?
Who should I contact with questions about this test?
1. Why did my doctor order a cardioversion procedure?
The purpose of this procedure is to restore your heart's normal rhythm. When an irregular heartbeat is detected, medicine is often used first to correct the problem. If that doesn't work, cardioversion is the next step.
2. What preparations will I need to make?
You will be asked not to eat or drink anything for six hours prior to the procedure. Make sure you let your doctor know what medications you are taking. He/she may prescribe anticoagulants or blood thinners for a few weeks to prevent blood clots from forming.
3. How is the test administered?
Electrocardiogram (EKG) wires will be placed on your chest to record your heartbeat at all times. You will be given a mild sedative through an intravenous (IV) line to your arm to help you relax. A soft plastic tube will be inserted into your nose to provide oxygen. Then, a very brief electric shock will be given through pads on your chest and back. Your physician will monitor your heartbeat to make sure the normal rhythm has been restored.
4. How long will the procedure last?
The procedure will last 60 minutes.
5. What will the recovery be like?
You'll be allowed to return home the same day as long as your heartbeat remains normal. Even though you'll wear a special monitor, you'll be able to sit up, walk around and eat something as soon as you are fully alert. Because of the electric shock, the skin on your chest may feel like it has a mild sunburn.
Should symptoms like an irregular or rapid heart beat or tightness in your chest return, immediately contact your doctor for further assistance.
6. Will my insurance cover this?
Depending on the type of coverage, most commercial insurance carriers will pay the major share of the cost. You should always consult your insurance company to determine proper coverage.
7. Who should I contact with questions about this test?
Feel free to consult your doctor.
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