Cardioversion therapy is a medical procedure used to restore the normal rhythm of the heart in individuals with atrial fibrillation (AF). Atrial fibrillation is a condition characterized by irregular and rapid electrical signals in the upper chambers of the heart (atria), leading to an irregular and often rapid heartbeat.
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How is cardioversion therapy performed?
Electrical cardioversion: An electric shock is delivered to the heart through paddles or patches placed on the chest. The shock interrupts the abnormal electrical activity in the heart and allows it to resume a normal rhythm.
Pharmacological cardioversion: Medications, such as anti-arrhythmic drugs, are administered intravenously to restore the normal heart rhythm. This method is usually attempted before considering electrical cardioversion.
Is cardioversion therapy painful
Electrical cardioversion is typically performed under sedation or general anesthesia, so patients do not feel the electric shock itself. However, some patients may experience discomfort or a brief sensation similar to being "thumped" in the chest. Pharmacological cardioversion does not involve direct pain but may have some side effects from the medications used.