Cardioversion : Hi lovely people After... - AF Association

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Cardioversion

Deb1838
Deb1838

Hi lovely people

After waiting 8 months for a cardioversion, I had a phone call to tell me to go to a private clinic for Wednesday, I have no paperwork. I am absolutely terrified as I have to go alone.

Please can tell me what to expect on the day please.

Thank you

Stay safe

72 Replies
oldestnewest

Hi Deb

Yes, after having had lots of cardioversions, I can tell you that there's not a lot to them and certainly nothing to be afraid of. I actually love having them, you go in with your heart playing up and (once the general anaesthetic wears off) wake and it's the most wonderful feeling to have a normal heartbeat again. The whole process from start to finish takes about 10 minutes, but you may be sat for a while waiting for your turn to come. My AF nurses like us to have a cup of tea and toast before we leave. I guess that tells them something.

When you get home don't do anything that requires a lot energy for the first week or so. I once walked up a steep hill the day after having one and back came my AF! Let the muscles in your heart gain strength beating correctly.

A few people find that a cardioversion doesn't work for them and they stay in AF.

Any questions please ask. So many of us on this forum have had them.

Jean

Thank you Jean, I have had a horrible couple of days growing in anxiety.

Not helped by worrying about Covid 🤭

Afterwards you will say to yourself, "What was I worried about". They'll put a cannula in the back of your hand, then the anaesthetic. Next thing is you wake up and each time I've always been back in sinus rhythm. It really is the most wonderful feeling and if they wanted me to I'd kiss the feet of them all with gratitude.

Yes, I can understand the covid worry, but my daughter who works at our main hospital tells me that the area where those patients are is totally sealed off from the rest of the hospital.

Oh that’s good to know Jean.

Will I have to have ecg or anything prior to the procedure. Really appreciate your time

They just put me on a heart and BP monitor, you know one of those tall things that stand by the bed. I would go in for a pre-med the day before and they would do an ECG then.

Ok thank you Jean. I just haven’t been able to talk to any nurse etc to find out what happens

I have my cardioversions while lying on a hospital bed, curtained off from others having the procedure, in a ward used just for that. Please believe me there's nothing to it. Come back on here when you can and let me know I'm right.

I will Jean thank you for your time

Ppiman
Ppiman
in reply to Deb1838

You needn't worry about Covid at all. The hospital will, in so far as such things are possible, be "virus free". You'll be fine.

Steve

Deb1838
Deb1838
in reply to Ppiman

Thank you Steve

I'm being lazy. I'm on the list since Nov19 maybe mentioned before. "Yawn."

Sedation is it ok to drive home? Not one one needs supervised for 24hrs like OCG.🤔

If you have a general anaesthetic, you're not allowed to drive home and must have someone with you for 24hrs afterwards or you could put something on the stove and then forget about it. I just had someone with me until late afternoon, but I've had lots of cardioversions so knew I'd be ok.

Cheers. Garbo I vant 2 b a lone.

Drive up dun & dusted jump into car & outa there simples. 😢

Honestly, you'll feel a bit woosy afterwards and won't be up to doing that! They will check that someone is going to pick you up and ask for their telephone number, so that they can call them when you're ready to leave

Click on the 1st pinned post to the right of this page”Useful links for Newbies and Oldies and scroll down to the link about cardioversions. There really is nothing to worry about.....honest!!

Deb1838
Deb1838
in reply to FlapJack

Thank you Flap jack, I will take a look

BobD
BobDVolunteer

It is very important that you are accompanied Deb. You may not drive or take public transport alone for 24 hours minimum after the CV to allow the sedation to clear your system. I once cheated and got a cab across town to the station etc and wished I hadn't as you WILL feel a bit ga ga.

Deb1838
Deb1838
in reply to BobD

Thank you Bob, I will get my husband to drive me, I have to go on my own as they are only letting patients in the hospital. I have to go in on Tuesday to be Covid tested.

I was scared stiff the first time, but find them quite enjoyable.

On the first one I did develop burns where the pads had been but some hydrocortisone cream sorted that. I think they gave me some on the way out.

I also had a pain in my left shoulder as apparently I had lashed out when the shocked me.

I have no real recollection of the dcv, just drifted off with the fairy juice a nervous wreck with thumper kicking off in my chest and woke up with a sore shoulder and a stillness in my chest that I hadn't experienced for months.

Not allowed to drive for 24 hours following and had to eat a horrible NHS sandwich and drink something befor I was discharged.

First one lasted 9 months.

Good luck with yours

Deb1838
Deb1838
in reply to Mikee69

Thank you so much

Hope I can come back with a positive iutcome

Hopefully you will have the same service as afforded to private patients and not a ropey old sandwich after! There really isn't anything to worry about. It's quick, you are asleep and when you wake up your heart should be in normal rythmn. But please even though you feel like you could run a marathon, don't. Rest up and let yourself heal. And let hubby come and pick you up.

I hope that it has the desired outcome and that you banish the A Fib . Take care.

Deb1838
Deb1838
in reply to Becksagogo

Thank you Becks, I will take things easy for a good few days.

I went for mine , I had way more anxiety then I needed , I was put in a bed they came in and talked to me said anethiesiologist, and nurse would be with me the whole time , They Doctor would give me a shock to stop and restart me in NSR ,They said they would give me an injection in IV . I was out and I woke up , never felt a thing , I was in NSR ,I felt better than I had for 4 mon in Afib . I walked out of Hosp , felt wonderful been in NSR ever since. I would not hestitate to do it again if I needed to , It was all in my head the stress , the cardioversion was a breeze.

I wish you great success and NSR.

Deb1838
Deb1838
in reply to myrnalynn52

Thank you, for your comment

Hopefully I will wonder what the stress was about

I was nervous too, but it was a walk in the park and I felt so much better afterwards. I had 3 CV's, but they didn't work for more than a couple of weeks until I stopped drinking alcohol completely. Now I've had no AF or even ectopic beats for 6 months and I'm very slowly cutting down the medications.

Fantastic news, hope your af free for a CB long time.

Thank you for responding

Nobody has talked about the TOE to check for clots that can leave your throat a bit sore. Isn't this standard practice?

lindat15
lindat15
in reply to Barb1

I've only ever had TOE before ablations. As long as been on anticoagulant for minimum of 4 weeks don't think that's necessary before Cardioversion.

Deb1838
Deb1838
in reply to lindat15

I have been on rivaroxiban for 8 months

lindat15
lindat15
in reply to Deb1838

That's good. I must admit I was a bit uneasy before my first one( nurse commented on my fast HR!) just at the thought of it but it really wasn't a problem. Like others it's such an amazing feeling when you come round and heart beating normally for a while- pre ablation both of mine only lasted for short period but the fact I converted was a positive for future ablation procedures. Hope it goes well for you.

Barb1
Barb1
in reply to lindat15

My EP always does it as a precaution.

Lizzo
Lizzo
in reply to Barb1

I have had 3 cardioversions but never had a TOE before them, just before my Catheter Ablations. When I was on warfarin, they tested my INR, but now I am on a NOAC they asked me to confirm that I had taken all of my tablets for the past 4 weeks. My experience of the cardioversions was similar to others on here....the worst part was trying to find a suitable vein for the canula, but everyone was very kind and reassuring, and the experience was much better than I had feared. Do get someone to pick you up afterwards, even though you feel like you are walking on air, that's probably the after-effect of the anaesthetic!!

Hope it works for you. I had mine along with five other people. It put one person back into sinus. The nurse said that was about average.

Good luck.

Deb1838
Deb1838
in reply to gateman

😥

No problems. The thought is far worse than the procedure and it's a relief as well. You are literally asleep for a couple of minutes and no absolutely nothing about what is happening. Try not to worry as honestly I think going to the dentist is worse. Good luck

Deb1838
Deb1838
in reply to Tapanac

Thank you for your support

Ditto all comments.!! You'll be fine. I couldn't wait for mine! It's all over in 10 mins and back in nsr you'll be overjoyed! What a difference it makes!! Good luck

Deb1838
Deb1838
in reply to Nick1957

Thank you Nick 🤞

I was utterly terrified. So upset. But then when the two nurses came to my room to roll my bed into the operating room the calmness of inevitability came over me. The two nurses were so comforting and darling, l became calm. The anesthesiologist was wonderful and l just gave myself to them and to our Almighty. They give you something to knock you out and a little oxygen ... the next thing l knew was the two nurses saying “Jan wake up” ... your procedure is over! It was so easy and actually “fun” ... you have NOTHING to be afraid of. Enjoy your event knowing that you will be in NSR in a few minutes. It’s a very short procedure. Nothing whatsoever to be afraid of. However, waiting so long to have the procedure is what l would find infuriatingly remiss on their part. I waited one day. By choice incidentally.

Deb1838
Deb1838
in reply to Janith

Unfortunately I wasn’t deemed urgent then thy decided I needed it done ASAP and then Covid came along 😢

I've had quite few. Well, the Propaphol certainly helps. One moment you're talking to a team of nurses, techs and a cardiologist in the hospital procedure room and the next moment your finishing your sentence and everyone is gone except the one nurse.

Deb1838
Deb1838
in reply to indy64

Thank you Indy

Hi Deb. I was cardioverted last year. You will be advised of when to start "fasting", and what medications to take before going to the Hospital/Dept. You will be "checked in". and have a bracelet on your wrist- name, DOB, etc. The staff who will be looking after you, will introduce themselves....and take you to your bay. Dr and nurse will talk to you and tell you what to expect. They may do an ECG, and take some readings- BP/Pulse/Temp. The procedure ,for me was painless. I was put to sleep-not unpleasant. When I woke up, felt fine. Asked to gently sit up. - "did I want something to drink?". Had decaffeinated coffee, and a biscuit. Dressed. When I felt up to it nurse assisted ....had a gentle walk, around bed area. Aprox. hour afterwards, asked if I felt ready for home. Was advised it was a"light anaesthesia". Took it "easy" for the rest of the day......slowly eased back to normal days. I am in the middle of the UK. Are you North, South, East, or West? Best wishes.

Deb1838
Deb1838
in reply to Ed1532

Thank you for that Ed very informative. I am a bit concerned because my bp is high and goes through the roof when I am anxious.

I live in the south east

Ed1532
Ed1532
in reply to Deb1838

Hi Deb.- Someone from the Clinic/Hospital will be getting in touch with you....if you feel you need to talk to someone - ring the number on your referral letter. (promise they will do there best to answer any question/s you have).. Do you know what meds. you can take before going into Hosp/clinic? - Do you know how long it will take to get there?. Ask perhaps is there anything they need/want you to take in with you? - Ring the clinic/hosp. now if you need more information there may be someone there now. If I can help/ advise please don't hesitate to get back.

Deb1838
Deb1838
in reply to Ed1532

Unfortunately I have no paperwork but a nurse is meant to be ringing me tomorrow. You have given me some good questions

Many thanks

I was extremely anxious before mine. For weeks. I don't know what I thought was going to happen!

What did happen was I had a very long and boring wait because my surname is towards the end of the alphabet so I was last. They wheeled me into a separate surgery type room. This dishy consultant talked to me a bit (he was there because I'm too fat, only just over their limit but still needed a consultant present). Then I realised that he was still talking and asking me something and that was it. Done. It had taken 4 shocks to get me there, he stepped in and did the 4th rather than the usual nurses, that's what he was there for, so I had a little burning to the skin like a minor sunburn in a ring shape.

They wheeled me back, I dosed for a little while. A nice sandwich, fresh banana and good cup of tea appeared and once I'd had that and they had finished monitoring things I could leave. It was a breeze really. Way less stressful than the dentist for even a checkup!

And yes, the sandwich was nice. I was surprised. Egg salad I think. Not dry, well filled and tasty. I was hungry by then.

It will be alright. Try not to worry. Take something to do. The wait is just boring.

Thank you for the insight.

I have a little radio so I can listen to some music while I am waiting.

Well I was in a room with around 8 others, in beds with curtains between, so not sure a radio would have gone down to well. Take a book or a puzzle book.

Ok I was thinking of just in the waiting area with my headphones in

Hi Deb. I’ve had two cardioversions and can only reiterate what everyone else has said. A straightforward procedure and nothing to get worked up over. My second was actually carried out by the nursing staff rather than the cardiologist and they were amazing. I needed my medication adjusted slightly each time as a result and have been absolutely fine. Wear comfy clothes and take a good book. Let us know 👍🏻

Thank you handbag

Hope my experience is as good, I was wondering what to wear, many thanks

I only had to take my top and bra off. Kept my jeans and socks on. Gown over the top.

They may tell you what to take in. Otherwise layering I would suggest as you cant be sure of temperatures in the hospital. I reckon thats probably your biggest cause of concern Best wishes to you

Thank you layers it is then

Many thanks

You had to wait 8 months for CV? What country are you in? Cardioversion not that big a deal. You get IV sedation and next thing you know you are awake and feel better. Doesn't hurt but I always ask for the maximum sedation. You will be hooked up for EKG to make sure you are in sinus rhythm. In and out procedure but you will need someone to drive. Good Luck

Deb1838
Deb1838
in reply to BC50

Hi Bc I am in south east England

Thank you for your input

BC50
BC50
in reply to Deb1838

I am obviously biased living in the US, but 8 months for you to be in need of a procedure is hard to believe.

Deb1838
Deb1838
in reply to BC50

I went to A and E twice in 3 days was referred to consultant as routine appointment. Waited 3 months for appointment. Had a nuclear scan, echo which showed low ejection, was put on amiodarone while waiting for cardioversion but Covid came along and appointment was cancelled

Grogan
Grogan
in reply to Deb1838

Im Midlands, NHS did me there and then, crazy. (About 3-4 years ago)

Guess i was lucky.

8 months is crazy, i went into A&E because i was in AF. My cardiologist was on call, they rang him up. Told the A&E staff to cardiovert me, few hours later walked out of A&E in normal rhythm.

Deb1838
Deb1838
in reply to Grogan

Not here I am afraid, our nhs is flooded

I have only had one, but it was absolutely nothing to fear. As Jeannie said, you will feel so wonderful afterwards. There is nothing as sweet as feeling your heart beating normally again. I did have a mild triangular burn on my chest (I think that may have been because mine was done in an urgent basis), but it didn’t hurt and healed up in a week or so on its own. Nothing at all to fear. But I can certainly understand your feelings as I was petrified and alone in the emergency room when mine was done. Everyone was wonderful to me. Please know that you will be absolutely fine and feel so much better after!

Deb1838
Deb1838
in reply to Goalnsr

Thank you for your response very helpful

Hi Debs, it's all been said about the 'routineness' of a cardioversion but, in light of a couple of comments above, let's be clear about what a cardioversion is not. It is not a cure - it's not even a treatment in the strict sense of the word. If you are successfully cardioverted you are in exactly the same position as someone with paroxysmal AF who goes spontaneously from AF into sinus rhythm - ie it's 99% certain to be a temporary measure and - I hope this won't come as a surprise to you - you could be back in AF in hours, days or if you are lucky, much longer. Grogan tells us that he/she went to A&E with AF. Many of us do the first time it occurs because we have no idea what's wrong with us! I assumed I was in heart failure! But it's not an emergency and, once we are on appropriate medication, the condition - unpleasant though it can be - really is a very long way down the list of medical priorities. Only an ablation holds out the hope of long term 'cure' though no one likes to mention that word. A cardioversion offers relief and if you have been in permanent AF for all this time then it's a relief you richly deserve. I had one cardioversion in my 5 years with paroxysmal AF - it lasted about a week. I couldn't see the point in having another. My ablation in 2014 however finally kissed it goodbye. I know. It could come back but these years without AF have been heaven. Have your cardioversion Debs but, if it's appropriate for you, let ablation be your goal. Good luck.

Deb1838
Deb1838
in reply to RobertELee

Thank you Robert. Just need to have some relief from AF but I know it’s not a cure.

My Cardiologist mentioned an ablation to me but wanted to get me in a better place

You are saying then that you have been in persistent AF for eight months?

Because you will have been such a long time in persistent, do tell us how long it lasts?

Deb1838
Deb1838
in reply to cuore

Yes I have been in permanent Af for 8 months

cuore
cuore
in reply to Deb1838

For ÅF eight months is a long time to be in persistent if you are considering ablation. You might want to read:

afsymposium.com/library/201...

Specifically in the article above:

"First of all, we have compared different subsets of persistent AF based on continuous AF duration. The number of targeted regions increases with the duration of continuous AF: from three to four in the first six months of AF, four to five in months six to 12 of AF, and six to seven in long-lasting AF. "

The above article is not meant to "terrify" you as you state for your cardioversion. It is intended for you to be more knowledgeable of the stage of your AF.

You mention only cardiologist. I would suggest you see an electrophyisologist as soon as possible.

Will be thinking of you tomorrow Deb, let us know as soon as you can how you get on. X

Thank you Jean x

Thank you all for your support.

Unfortunately had a call yesterday to rearrange it, not sure why but hopefully they will reschedule ASAP

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