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Discharge Instructions for Cardioversion

Your doctor performed a procedure called cardioversion. Your doctor used a controlled electric shock to briefly stop all electrical activity in your heart. This helped restore your heart’s normal rhythm. Here are some instructions to follow while you recover.

Home Care

  • Don’t drive until you know how the procedure has affected you.

  • Don’t be alarmed if the skin on your chest is wrinkled or feels like it is sunburned. These minor symptoms will go away in a few days.

  • Ask your doctor about medications to keep your heart rhythm steady.

  • If you were prescribed medication, take it as instructed by your doctor. Don’t skip doses or take double doses.

  • Learn to take your own pulse. Keep a record of your results. Ask your doctor when you should seek emergency medical attention. He or she will tell you which pulse rate reading is dangerous. 

  • Keep in mind this procedure may need to be repeated at a later date. About half of all patients who undergo cardioversion need a repeat procedure within a year.

  • Talk to your doctor about the possibility of having a pacemaker inserted.


Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.

When to Seek Medical Attention

Call 911 right away if you have:

  • Chest pain.

  • Shortness of breath.

Otherwise, call your doctor immediately if you have:

  • Fainting

  • Chest pain with increased activity

  • Irregular heartbeat or fast pulse


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