It’s normal to
feel like you “have butterflies” in your chest when you’re frightened or
excited. However, if this feeling comes and goes with no reason, it can be sign
of an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). Also known as atrial fibrillation, this
condition can make it difficult for your heart to pump enough blood to your
The Heart and Vascular Center is one of the few centers in North
Carolina offering treatment for atrial fibrillation. Our specialists in cardiac
electrophysiology and our premier cardiothoracic surgeons work together to
provide a range of treatments.
New patients who are in need of atrial fibrillation treatment and are interested in cardioversion, you may request an appointment online.
Cardioversion at Wake
Forest Baptist in North Carolina
internal electrical system triggers your heartbeat. With each heartbeat, this
system fires a signal that spreads from your heart’s top to bottom. This signal
causes the muscles to contract and relax, which is what pumps blood throughout
Cardioversion is a nonsurgical
procedure used to “convert” an irregular heartbeat back to a normal rhythm. At
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, we offer cardioversion in two forms. We
will discuss the options with you and choose the technique that offers you the
best results. The two types of cardioversion are:
using a special machine to shock the heart,
triggering a normal rhythm.
cardioversion, using carefully selected medications
to correct arrhythmias.
When you have atrial fibrillation,
this process is out of synch and your heart beats irregularly. You may feel symptoms
- Rapid heartbeat
- A pounding
feeling in your chest
- Chest pain
In rare cases,
collapse and sudden cardiac arrest
Using Electric Cardioversion
Using a cardioverter, our cardiac electrophysiologists deliver a
low dose of electrical current to shock your heart back to a normal rhythm.
Here’s how electric cardioversion works:
may perform an imaging test called a transesophageal echocardiogram to make
sure you do not have blood clots or other conditions that might cause
receive an IV in your arm to deliver medication that puts you to sleep and
- Our specialists
place patches with electrodes on your chest and back. We also connect these
electrodes to the cardioverter.
- The patches
deliver an electrical current to your chest.
- This current
produces a shock that stops the abnormal heartbeat and allows your heart to
resume a normal rhythm.
You should be
able to go home a few hours after your electric cardioversion. You may need to take medications
temporarily to prevent blood clots and keep your heart beating regularly.
Cardioversion at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
pharmacologic cardioversion, we use carefully selected medications to regulate
your heartbeat. This form of treatment can take anywhere from several minutes
to several days to be successful. You may also receive medications to take
temporarily to prevent blood clots and keep your heart beating regularly after pharmacologic cardioversion.
- Medications to
control your heart rate.
- Medications to
control your heart rhythm.
an appointment online. Or, for more
information, please call:
- 336-716-WAKE or