Cardioversion for afib

Ask the doctor

Published: October, 2015

Q. I am scheduled for an electrical cardioversion for my atrial fibrillation. What should I expect?

A. Electrical cardioversion is a procedure to convert a fast or irregular heartbeat (such as what happens with atrial fibrillation, or afib) to a normal rhythm. Before the procedure, your cardiologist may recommend a special ultrasound test of your heart to check for blood clots. Cardioversion may dislodge any clots, which can be life-threatening. So if clots are found, the procedure may be delayed for a few weeks, so you can take blood-thinning medications to lower your risk of complications such as stroke.

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