How does it work?
External cardioversion uses a device called a defibrillator. When the defibrillator is placed on your chest, it delivers a shock to your heart. This shock causes your heart to return to its normal rhythm. It is like hitting a reset button on your heart. Internal cardioversion uses a device that is implanted under your skin like a pacemaker. If the heart starts beating incorrectly, the internal defibrillator will sense it and send an electrical shock to the heart automatically. This will return the heart beat to normal.
What to expect?
During the procedure, staff will monitor your vital signs closely. A nurse will start an IV and sedate you with IV medication. The procedure only lasts a few minutes. You will probably not remember the test due to the sedation. The doctor will use the defibrillator to deliver a shock to your heart to restore it to its normal rhythm. After the procedure you may have some chest tenderness or bruising. Some patients may need to continue anti-arrhythmia drugs after the cardioversion procedure.