Cardioversion: Hi all, Got diagnosed with AF... - AF Association

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Cardioversion

FredFace
FredFace

Hi all,

Got diagnosed with AF a couple of months ago (33 m) - largely attributed to genetics, stress, and the appalling way I handle stress. Was prescribed bosiprolol, and told cardioversion was likely.

Went into hospital for a couple of weeks ago for an Echocardiogram, which had a normal heartbeat. Thought I was more or less in the clear, but had another echocardiogram appointment booked immediately followed by an appointment in cardiology. No context was given, so no idea whether I'll be getting shocked or not.

Heartbeat has been stable for a while. Although I can 'feel' it, I feel a regular beat, and attribute the fact that I keep noticing my heartbeat to anxiety, not AF. Whenever I check it, the heartbeat seems regular. Have no noticable effects of AF, ie. no shortness of breath, lightheadedness, etc.

Questions are: how likely are they to shock me if it's a regular beat, and what should I be preparing myself for?

11 Replies
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If you are in Normal Sinus Rhythm they will definitely NOT perform a cardioversion.

The purpose of a cardioversion is to return your heart to normal when you are suffering from AF that cannot be resolved with medication.

If you ever need a cardioversion this is not as bad as some imagine. I have had about 20 and would not hesitate to have another if it ever became necessary.

Pete

FredFace
FredFace in reply to pottypete1

Thanks, Pete. I guess I'll know one way or the other on Friday. If I'm honest, it's more the sedation I fear than the shock itself. Something about the whole concept of getting knocked out that simply doesn't sit well.

pottypete1
pottypete1 in reply to FredFace

Yes I understand your fear of sedation and/or anaesthesia.

All I can tell you is that I have had an anaesthetic for cardioversion and ablations many times and in the end you get used to it. In reality it is no different to dropping off to sleep watching the television which I do every night with my favourite programmes.

I would say that during one cardioversion when I was supposed to be sedated, the sedation was not effective. I can assure you that a cardioversion is far worse with out an anaesthetic. My experience is as rare as hen's teeth.

Anyway from what you tell us I don't think you need one so just relax!

Finally if it is any comfort, I am having an unrelated operation next Monday and I am once again having GA. That is the easy part in my view.

Pete

JaneFinn
JaneFinn in reply to pottypete1

Pete, I always find your experience of cardioversion and related stuff that you post about really interesting and helpful- thanks :)

Just wanted to say good luck for the op on Monday - hope it all goes smoothly x

pottypete1
pottypete1 in reply to JaneFinn

Thanks Jane

FredFace
FredFace in reply to pottypete1

Good to hear someone so relaxed about the whole thing! I think, given that my heart was regular in the last echo and still seems that way now (have been able to do interval training without passing out), I might get off without it. Still, out of my comfort zone, but helps to hear your experiences.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to FredFace

I'm similar to Pete...very many cardioversions(18)...really nothing to worry about although I did find them a big deal in the beginning. The sedation part is handled well by an anaesthetist and assistant so you should not worry. They don't bother me in the slightest now as it is all over in minutes.

Mugster
Mugster in reply to FredFace

If it's any help my experience of the sedation for cardioversion was the deepest dreamless refreshing sleep I have had for a long time. It seemed to last seconds but was in fact about 35 mins

FredFace
FredFace in reply to Mugster

That doesn't sound too bad! The hospital hasn't said anything about preparing for sedation - should I fast in the morning just in case?

pottypete1
pottypete1 in reply to FredFace

If they did not tell you to fast then it is pretty well certain they do not plan to do anything to you.

Relax.

Pete

Mugster
Mugster in reply to FredFace

I think hospitals vary. This was mild sedation ,I woke up on the trolley back to the ward.

My ablation on the other hand was under General anaesthetic and required fasting from 10pm the night before and was really quite unpleasant.

If they haven't told you to fast then it's not GA

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