Cardioversion Service

Cardioversion is the use of electrical charge under general anaesthetic to restore your heart to a normal rhythm. As part of your procedure your consultant may also want you to have a Transoesophageal Echo (TOE). This is a heart scan using ultrasound (sound waves) to look at the structure of the heart and involves swallowing a soft flexible tube. This may be carried directly before the cardioversion.



In order to deliver the electrical charge for the cardioversion you will be put under general anaesthetic. After receiving a general anaesthetic, your co-ordination may be affected and logical thinking may be temporarily interrupted due to the effects of the drug. You must be fasting for at least 6 hours prior to the procedure. You will need a responsible adult to stay with you for 24 hours after the procedure.

Do not...

  • Drink alcohol for 24 hours
  • Drive a car for 24 hours
  • Operate machinery or electrical equipment e.g. cooking
  • Make any vital decisions or sign legal documents
  • Climb ladders, step up on chairs or stools for 24 hours
  • Take any medication not prescribed or acknowledged by your Cardiologist or Anaesthetist.


Please do...

  • Follow consultants advice regarding the resumption of full activity and returning to work
  • Observe any special instructions which the Doctor or Nurse have advised
  • Take plenty of fluids
  • Eat light meals as desired



  • Stroke
  • Burns to the skin on chest or back
  • Arrhythmias (irregular heart beat)
  • Cardioversions don’t always bring back normal heart rhythms. If normal rhythms don’t return, you may need medicines, a pacemaker or an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD).



  • Rapid heart rate or palpitations
  • Dizziness or passing out
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Numbness or weakness in the arm or leg or difficulty with speech.


Available at the following locations:

  • Cork
  • Dublin

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