A nurse or technician will stick soft pads called electrodes on your chest and possibly on your back. He or she may need to shave some areas on your skin to get the pads to stick.
The electrodes will be attached to a cardioversion machine. The machine will record your heart's electrical activity and send low-energy shocks through the pads to restore a normal heart rhythm.
Your nurse will use a needle to insert an intravenous (IV) line into a vein in your arm. Through this line, you’ll get medicine that will make you fall asleep.
While you're asleep, a cardiologist (heart specialist) will send one or more low-energy electrical shocks to your heart. You won't feel any pain from the shocks.
Your health care team will closely watch your heart rhythm and blood pressure during the procedure for any signs of complications.
Cardioversion takes just a few minutes. However, you'll likely be in the hospital for a few hours due to the prep time and monitoring after the procedure.