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What To Expect After Cardioversion

Your health care team will closely watch you after the procedure for any signs of complications. Your doctor or nurse will let you know when you can go home. You’ll likely be able to go home the same day as the procedure.

You may feel drowsy for several hours after the cardioversion because of the medicine used to make you sleep. You shouldn't drive or operate heavy machinery the day of the procedure.

You'll need to arrange for someone to drive you home from the hospital. Until the medicine wears off, it also may affect your awareness and ability to make decisions.

You may have some redness or soreness on your chest where the electrodes were placed. This may last for a few days after the procedure. You also may have slight bruising or soreness at the site where the intravenous (IV) line was inserted.

Your doctor will likely prescribe anticlotting medicine for several weeks after the procedure to prevent blood clots. During this time, you also may take medicine to prevent repeat arrhythmias.

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Cardioversion Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. To find clinical trials that are currently underway for Cardioversion, visit

May 25, 2012 Last Updated Icon

The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.