Cardioversion : Hi all I’ve seen a... - AF Association

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Mabal profile image

Hi all

I’ve seen a Cardiologist, he’s referred me for a Cardioversion.

Im not worried as such about having it, trying not to think about it to much.

Can I ask those of you that have had one,

How was it ?

47 Replies

Most people say it’s a bit of a walk in the park but that may be a slight exaggeration however it really isn’t much to worry about. Click on the link to find out more…….

Mabal profile image
Mabal in reply to FlapJack


There really is nothing to it FJ. Lie on a bed, anaesthetic given, 10 minutes later wake up cured. They bring you a cup of tea and something to eat and then you can go home. I'd sometimes go months beforehand feeling absolutely dreadful and hardly able to walk a few yards. For me it was just the most wondrous cure.


Much the same for me Jean, it was the start of a fairly successful treatment plan……off on my holidays this morning, when I was first diagnosed I was convinced that holidays were a thing of the past! Take care……..

BobD profile image

Generally speaking it is a non event and over in a couple of minutes but it is important to understand that everything has risks and you will be asked to sign away your rights etc. Most of the things mentioned never happen.

It is also important not to put too much store on a DCCV (cardioversion) as it is not a cure for anything, just a way to see if you can be reverted to normal sinus rhythm (NSR) and if you feel better then which helps decide future treatments .

Mabal profile image
Mabal in reply to BobD

Thanks Bob I do hope i go back in to NSR, for how long who knows.

Is there an anaesthetist present ?

BobD profile image
BobDVolunteer in reply to Mabal

Yes, canula in arm, fairy juice goes in and when you wake up all is well. The procedure is usually done in the anti room of an operating theatre which is why one often has to wait hours for a free slot with an anaesthetist available. The actual process is computer controlled. You may have some slight redness or burning where the pads go on so treat with aftersun or similar cream.

Mabal profile image
Mabal in reply to BobD

Thanks Bob Hope I don’t have to wait to long

Take care

cicek profile image
cicek in reply to Mabal

Hi Mabal. I am on the list for a cardioversion and have been told the wait is up to three months in Nottingham.

Mabal profile image
Mabal in reply to cicek

Thanks. That’s not to bad. Have you had one before ?

cicek profile image
cicek in reply to Mabal

No I'm like you it will be my first. Let's hope it works. Good luck x

Tricia239 profile image
Tricia239 in reply to BobD

Hi Bob, talking about the redness etc, do you know if I would be able to have one as I have had a mastectomy and so I have a lot os scar tissue on my left side. It just worries me a bit as I keep having prolonged bouts of AF and am in it at the moment. Thanks.

BobD profile image
BobDVolunteer in reply to Tricia239

I can't see it would stop it. Some are done with pads front and back so I'm sure the team would find a safe way for you.

Tricia239 profile image
Tricia239 in reply to BobD


Hi Mabal, nothing to worry about. I've had a total of 22 over about 28 years so consider myself a bit of an expert on the subject !From my experiences you will be very well looked after. An anaesthetist has always been present to administer heavy sedation so you will be completely unaware . The whole procedure should be over in about 10 minutes.

Mine have always been 'emergency 'as opposed to elective on a waiting list, when they are usually performed in cath lab. I have had mine performed in anteroom of theatre mostly and sometimes in Resus A&E. I've very often had consultant and junior doctor plus anaesthetist and nurses present so felt very secure ! My last one in June this year

It's a great feeling to be back in normal sinus rhythm afterwards so hopefully you will feel the same. Take it easy for 24 hours, no driving, and you should be fine.

Good luck!


Mabal profile image
Mabal in reply to Jalia

Thankyou so much Hopefully I won’t have to wait to long.

Oh to be in NSR again

No problem at all. I have had 3 and there are many on here who have had more.

All the best.

I have only had one in A&E after about 12 hours of AF and although I do get short episodes since I've never gone into AF that hasn't responded to Flecainide. Touch wood.

TracyAdmin profile image

Hi - you may find our online patient resources helpful? visit or contact the helpline on 01789 867 502

Mabal profile image
Mabal in reply to TracyAdmin


I've had several cardioversions and you may think it odd, but I love having them. You go in to hospital with your heart beating erratically and quite often making you feel ill, then afterwards there you are - a normal person again!!! I've said this before and I'll say it again, it's so wonderful to have your heart back in it's correct rhythm and the gratitude to the nurses and doctors pours out of me. Honestly, I'd kiss their feet if they wanted me to!

There really is nothing to the procedure as others have said. A few words of warning though. Take it easy for a week or so afterwards and let your heart muscles gain strength beating in their correct rhythm, as it's so easy for it to revert back to the abnormal beat. I once walked up a steep hill the day after having one of mine and immediately went back into AF. Also avoid any stimulants, such as alcohol.

Let us know how you get on please.


Mabal profile image
Mabal in reply to jeanjeannie50

Thankyou that’s amazing. We take it for granted our hearts beating in NSR.

I will take it easy after having it done, hopefully will remain in NSR.

If only I were a doctor or nurse…..mind you, I think you would change your mind if you saw my plates of meat….. 🦶🦶

Easy. Quick squirt of sedative, out with the fairies for a few minutes and wake up hopefully back in rhythm.I once had ketamine as my sedative and that gave me horrid nightmares though so I try to avoid that.

Once I had some rib pain and slight singes when it took several shocks (though I didn't know that until afterwards).

I hope all goes well x

I had one a few years ago. My heart had started racing, around 200 bpm and stuck there. Took myself to hospital and they tried all sorts to slow it down. Eventually got it to 105 bpm but I still needed the cardioversion. I was scared obviously but the staff team were very reassuring. General anaesthetic given, came round later feeling really good and all sorted, so don't worry. It's a very common procedure. Best wishes

I had a cardioversion back in March this year. I has been in a non sinus rhythm since Octiber last year when I caught Covid. I was petrified of having a cardioversion but the reality was it was totally nothing to be scared of. It was all done so quickly and the next thing I remember was being offered a cup of coffee. I tested for about 2 hours and had a sandwich and another two coffees. The staff looked after me so well. My heart went back into rhythm with just one shock. I still get some palpitations but have stated in a normal sinus rythym since. Some people say they feel back to normal immediately after but it took a week or so for me to start to feel better. I would def have it done again 8f necessary.

I've had at least 8 of them over the years (before finally getting an ablation). Very easy, you go to sleep for what seems like 10 seconds, wake up and it's all over, and you immediately feel better because you're back in normal rhythm.


Hi Mabal. I have jad the cardioversion for aflutter. The procedure is quick and you will be entirely comfortable. It did reestsblish sinus rythm hor me bu it did leave me feeling very tired for some weeks and in the end it did revert back to arrythmia.

All the best to you. If it helps you it will be way better than taking heaps of tablets.

I have had 2 Mabal. Unfortunately I reverted to AFIB after 2 weeks on both occasions. Had an ablation subsequently. Hope more successful for you.

I was asleep - When I woke the doc said he it did it twice - There were red marks on my chest but the ticker was back to normal - Been OK since - 2 years now but I'm on Flecainide for it.The procedure was done with no issues - and in French as I live in France. Being hairy the worst bit was all the shaving!!

Mabel, I’m on Ibrutinib and also have been on aFib for sometime. My key question to both cardiologist and hematologist specialists, is how long I would need to stop this medication before the Cardioversion procedure. Hope all goes well. Ed

The actual procedure is nothing to worry about. You know nothing. When I woke up, I cried because of the peace I felt I’m my chest. Sadly that peace only lasted four days which was very depressing. Fingers crossed for you.

Mabal profile image
Mabal in reply to Neoneo

Thankyou for the reply 4 days- hope you are ok

Take care

It’s good to see that on the whole most have had positive experiences with this procedure. I on the other hand had 2 DC Cardioversions 2 years ago when my AF was diagnosed, neither worked ! I live with a permanently irregular HB. I also suffered 2 ring burns where the pads were attached. Minor burn, bit like sunburn.

I was apprehensive but with benefit of hindsight I shouldn’t have been as it was one of the easiest medical procedures I have experienced. Mine worked with NSR for 2 years before I went back into AF and opted for ablation. Sound advice from plenty of people on this site. Mine is to ensure that you religiously take anticoagulants without missing a single dose in the run up to your procedure and don’t be tempted to fib about it if you do as the consequences of dislodging a blood clot can be very serious in terms of a stroke. So follow the instructions to the letter. Good luck and best wishes.

Hi … I’ve had 2. The first one was unsuccessful and I felt pretty bad after. Second one last January while taking Amiodarone… which has worked.However can’t take the Amiodarone for long so am due to have an Ablation in November 🤞

Mabal profile image
Mabal in reply to Pinnie7


I found the prep for Cardioversion difficult but the procedure itself was fine and quick. Unfortunately it only lasted two weeks.

Mabal profile image
Mabal in reply to Dee5165

That’s awful 2 weeks What’s the next plan ?

Dee5165 profile image
Dee5165 in reply to Mabal

Hi Mabal.

I had a plan which thankfully worked for me.

Once the Afib came back on April 3rd, (2 weeks after Cardioversion) I started on researching supplements. Meds obviously didn't work and Beta Blockers made me feel worse. So I started on Magnesium Taurate/Glycinate, Hawthorn Berry, Co-Q10/L-Carnitine, Vitamin C and D, and Wild Alaskan Fish Oil 3 times per day. It takes 8-10 weeks to show benefits. After 7 1/2 weeks I was back to a normal heart rate and no longer in Afib since the first week of June. I thank God each day that I took control of my body and did my own research instead of increasing or changing meds. Since I have a Health Science background I know doctors are not going to recommend supplements because there are not enough trials or studies on natural alternatives so doctors push meds. I am now down to twice a day on supplements and if Afib returns I would rather go back to 3 times a day on supplements then take meds.

I’m going in for number 5 this Saturday. Natural to be a little nervous as going under GA is never without risks, however you are under for a relatively short period of time and as such the risks are mitigated to some extent. You will feel like a different person once your system gets used to the ‘new’ blood and oxygen volume. With me that’s a day or two, but I feel the relief from AFIB almost immediately on waking up.

Please try not to fixate on your heart beat afterwards. I find that I often do that as I really don’t want to go back into AF.

My longest period in normal rhythm after a DCCV is 18 months. I hope yours lasts a good long time!

I would most of us have had one, if not several. I referred to it as the 10 best minutes of sleep I ever had in my life. As always with these things, the prep is more frightening and cumbersome than the actually procedure. Just relax and God Bless!

Hi Mabal I do wish you luck and sure all will go well. Really I’ve learned a lot on here about cardioversion because I know I had twice in ER here in Canada 2 different times with AF and Flutter.. They did this only after three hours of being an AF/Flutter.Both times they ask me if I want to paddles or to try an IV approach both times [they put medicine in it to cardiovert you] -it work both times for me but they didn’t sedate me.

I’m curious why it is they sometimes sedate and use shock and sometimes they just use Medicine in IV?

Palpman profile image
Palpman in reply to Chrissy7

Normally AFlutter is reverted chemically in a IV.No sedation needed obviously.

The chemical stops the heart for a few seconds and this can be felt like a very long single ectopic beat.

Chrissy7 profile image
Chrissy7 in reply to Palpman

Cool - I had that done twice now

"Easy as pie" is how I'd describe my two cardioversions. I was put under briefly, and before I knew it I was awake and feeling on top of the world. I believe the procedure itself took about 5 minutes.

To me it was really easy, and I was very worried beforehand. I was sound asleep and woke up within 20 minutes free of A fib. Skin a bit red where the pads were, bt not painful. I was sent home after about 30 minutes.

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