External cardioversionCardioversion is a corrective procedure where an electrical shock is delivered to the heart to convert an irregular heartbeat back to normal sinus rhythm
Cardioversion is a corrective procedure where an electrical shock is delivered to the heart to convert an irregular heartbeat back to normal sinus rhythm. Most cardioversions are performed to treat atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter which are non-life threatening abnormal heart rhythms.
Why might I need an electrical cardioversion?
Your sinus node is responsible for sending organised electrical signals through the heart, resulting in a perfectly timed, rhythmic heartbeat. For patients with atrial fibrillation, this electrical signal is chaotic, causing the top chamber of your heart, the atrium, to fibrillate. This usually results in a fast and irregular heartbeat.
Some patients may have no symptoms, whilst others may experience shortness of breath, light-headedness and fatigue. The first step will be to have an initial consultation with a specialist Consultant to go through your medical history and diagnosis.
You can see expert consultants and have a range of scans and tests at either one of our facilities below. If you need a procedure or surgery, this will be carried out at KIMS Hospital in Maidstone.
KIMS Hospital, Maidstone
Sevenoaks Medical Centre
Prices & payment
We offer a guide price from:
The above are guide prices only.
How do I arrange treatment?
During your initial consultation, a specialist Consultant will go through your medical history and symptoms to assist a diagnosis. Dependent on your symptoms, your Consultant may then recommend a cardioversion procedure to return your heart to normal sinus rhythm.
Where will my cardioversion procedure take place?
Regardless of where you had your initial consultation, cardioversion procedures take place at KIMS Hospital in Maidstone. Most outpatient appointments, including scans and tests, and follow up appointments with your Consultant, can take place at either KIMS Hospital or Sevenoaks Medical Centre.
What will the treatment involve?
A synchronised electrical shock is delivered through the chest wall to the heart through special electrodes that are applied to the skin of the chest and back. The split-second interruption of the abnormal heat allows the heart’s electrical system to regain control and restore a normal rhythm.
Normal sinus rhythm can be restored the majority of the time, however the atrial fibrillation or other abnormal heart rhythms may recur over time.
How long will I be in hospital?
An electrical cardioversion is a day case procedure performed under general anaesthetic. After your treatment, you will be transferred to the recovery area where you will be cared for by a dedicated nursing team.
You will need to arrange for someone to collect you from the hospital after your treatment.
Will I be prescribed medication?
For patients with atrial fibrillation, there is an increased risk that blood clots may form as the upper chambers of the heart are fibrillating rather than squeezing. The process of restoring normal rhythm could dislodge a blood clot from the heart, which may result in a stroke.
Prior to the procedure, your Cardiologist will commence medication with anticoagulants to help thin your blood. This helps to prevent blood clots and reduce the risk of stroke. Anticoagulation is usually continued after the cardioversion, under the care of your Cardiologist.
What happens after my cardioversion procedure?
A member of the nursing team will carry out a follow-up call within a week of your discharge to check your wellbeing and recovery.
- Make a general enquiry
- Appointment enquiry
Our team are on hand to help answer any queries you might have about coming to KIMS Hospital or Sevenoaks Medical Centre. You can use the form below and one of our team will be in touch. Alternatively to speak to a member of our friendly team, please call 01622 237 500 between 8am-8pm Monday to Friday.
If you would like to book an appointment, you can use the form below and one of our team will be in touch.
Alternatively to speak to a member of our friendly team, please call 01622 237 500 between 8am-8pm Monday to Friday.
Please be aware, if you are requesting a diagnostic scan such as an MRI, or CT, you must have a referral from a relevant clinician or Allied Health professional such as a physiotherapist.