Hi everyone. I read through here regularly and there Cardioversion is often reported as failed. Is this a procedure worth considering? If you take it is there a risk that AF could return worse than before Cardioversion?

I ask because I am seeing my Doctor on Tuesday and feel sure he will recommend this as after taking Cordarone for what seems an age I don't think it has worked. I do take Dabigataran twice daily and know I will not be able to attend my local hospital who only with patients on Warfarin

No exaggeration I am a real wimp when it comes to anything medical and am terrified going to hospital and the thought of any procedure fills me with dread.

Thank you for reading

27 Replies

  • Hi Hippy

    Cardioversions are useful because they give a really good indication of how hard it is to put you back into NSR, and honestly they are really not scary in any way.

    As I have said before I've had two, didn't feel a thing, and my family crest is two crossed white feathers on a bed of custard. Whenever they say "are you allergic to anything" I reply "pain"

    And I've never heard of them making AF worse, but they are seldom a cure.

    Be well


  • Welcome back Beancounter

  • Thanks Beancounter you have been missed! As much as anything I have a terror of being put under, sedated. So not too encouraging news about Cardioversion.

  • Surely if a true Ageing Hippy you must have been under the influence of various products in your time:-)

  • There are sometimes Hippy when you have to "lay back and think of England" This might be one.

    Honestly never got past 2 when they ask me to count.

    Be well


  • It would be interesting to see research on how long some last and if AF becomes more frequent or worsens after a few cardioversions.

    I truly tell them that I'm allergic to formaldehyde. Apart from not wanting to be embalmed it is in practically everything one buys and is even used to kill the live flu virus in the vaccine. I used to wonder why I itched for weeks after having my jab.

  • Cardioversions work for quite a few people - me included.

    I have PAF which can go on for weeks until I am cardioverted and the joy of being in sinus rhythm afterwards is immense. I'm not too sure whether they work quite as well for people with permanent AF.

    Don't fear having one, when you do you will realise that there is nothing to it. The whole procedure takes about 10 minutes.


  • If you have AF there is no doubt that you should be on Warfarin, as AF can cause blood clots, better to be safe than sorry, I dont think a normal GP is knowledgeable enough to maybe know that?? I have had 2 cardioversion, both have failed, probably because I have had AF for so long, 1 lasted 10 days, the second 2 days, even worse I paid privately for them . talk about flushing money :( Now waiting for ablation, Believe me, there is no one more whimpey than me, I had a panic attack when they did my cataract about 6 weeks ago :(

  • Oh Annieszoo we are so on the same page, I had a cataract done last year. Got myself into a right state, even went for hyptnosis for help. Did it help no idea on the day I was still a quivering mess.

  • When I went for my first cataract operation one woman ran away just before her procedure and I moved up a place! I'm sure that when it was actually being done that you got your bottle back. I can stand anything that does not involve tools being put in my mouth or tubes down my throat. I have a little harmless thing on the back of my tongue. I went to have it removed but when in the chair changed my mind as I can even choke when cleaning my teeth. I was gratified that the Guy who was going to do it said that he would not have it done either.

    When I had my heart valve replaced I was cool about the operation but told them not to bring me round with any tubes still down my throat.

  • I hadnt realised I would react when they put the drape over my face. and cut the eye portion out. Having already been there for 2.5hours having the concoction of eye drops, I was ready to freak. Worse of all I saw the scalpel coming towards my eye and felt the first cut, after she said was it ok, I told her about the scalpel, oh she said, the last patient said that we must put the local in before we do I think, such a short procedure, I knew I had to have it done though, so persevered

  • Did you find it difficult to get them done privately? I tried last year but my local private hospital did not do them. I tried an NHS hospital that had facilities for private patients and eventually had a reply that he had not actually done one privately and on balance would prefer not to.

    Two others wanted over £1500 plus a before and after session with the cardiologist. With the travel involved I eventually waited the extra time for the NHS.

  • No, I had an appointment on the NHS which was 4 weeks away, felt so ill, and I had been left some money after my Dad died, phone the local private hospital, got an appointment the next day to see the cardiologist, £150, plus £300 for an echocardiogram, £960 for the cardioversion, £300, for the anaesthetist. Done twice. :( My cardiologist has referred me for the ablation. He assured me that I would not want to ask how much that would cost, so waiting list now!! :(

  • Quite a lot of money for a short procedure. When waiting for aortic valve replacement I asked around for quotes. The lowest was about £22K but a private hospital in Southampton said they would undercut any others. I was put off by the fact that if they decided during the operation that I needed a pacemaker there would be an additional unknown cost depending on the device needed.

  • Dabigatron is one of the NOAC alternatives to Wafarin. Although I have never had a cardioversion, my understanding was that some EPs do like to see how you react to cardioversion simply because if it converts you for at least a few minutes, it is an indicator that an ablation could be successful.

    Having had 2 ablations I can honestly say I would much rather have that procedure than a cataract any day.

  • Hi ageing hippy

    I have had two cardioversions one lasted a couple of weeks the other six months. Then told it was not worth trying again and in fact my consultant said he was surprised that it lasted as long as six months. From what I can gather the sooner you have it done after discovering AF the greater the chance of success. In my case I could have been in AF for years before it was detected. You may recall when Tony Blair had a funny heart rhythm he was cardioverted within hours - the only thing is we or I do not know if it lasted.

    Incidentally cardioversion is quite painless and you are out in a matter of minutes.

    Good luck

  • Bernard.....I think that Tony Blair had an ablation for SVT

  • He has not been reported as having had another but we know that he is heartless.

  • Cardio version is certainly painless. I had one on Friday. Unfortunately it returned within 48 hours ..... I am seeing the cardiologist tomoro to see what the next step will be.

  • Although your post is two years old, it applies to me. I had a cardioversion 13 days ago (April 13, 2017) which also lasted only 48 hours. Actually, even less than that because I went in and out of sinus in the 48 hours. How did you get to see a cardiologist so soon, because I do not know what is happening in terms of a follow-up except I had to get an EKG after one week? Also, two years later how are you doing?

  • Hi Trevor, thanks for this this seems to in line with what I have read and heard it frequently doesn't work, big disappointment! My Dr today said I should go and have it but his way it' s one only if it works great. If not then stay on the pills or ablation. Wish I still drank as I would enjoy pondering over a glass of wine while I made a decision

    Sorry to hear you news can you keep us up to date with what happens next for you

    Very best wishes to you

  • Surely an ablation is much more scary than a cardioversion?

  • Too true......but not as bad as it may first appear!!😃

  • Nothing ever is apart from the final curtain:-)

  • Oh yes yes yes :(

  • One advantage of cardioversion, even if it only lasts a few days, is that it can help you (and your medical team) assess how bad the symptoms of AF are. If you don't really notice any difference when you are back in NSR, it probably isn't worth taking the risk of doing an ablation. On the other hand, if you feel great, you might benefit greatly from ablation too.

    That is how my EP explained it to me but your mileage may vary!

  • Given that it is quick and painless its seems to me that cardioversion is worth trying - as already pointed out your mileage may vary. I am one of the lucky ones who is still in NSR several months afterwards, but I realise that this might change tomorrow.

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