Stroke - af and cardioversion

Hi, I haven’t shared anything for ages. I had a mild stroke two years ago caused by Arterial Fibrillation, which has now escalated to persistent. Cardioversion was recommended.

Has anyone had cardioversion after having a stroke. I got myself so worked up that I wasn’t sure if I had missed a dose of apixaban within the 3 weeks prior to having it done and anxiety took over and it was cancelled. It is the fear of having another stroke which they clearly point out is a side effect.


Hello Sarah. I don’t know anything much about cardioversion. But my thinking is that if stroke can be a side effect, isn’t it also true that strokes are common in atrial fibrillation? Seems to me you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place and you wouldn’t be alone in having high anxiety in those circumstances. I can understand how scary it must be. From past experience, I also know how anxiety can accelerate our understanding/perceptions/rationale negatively to the point where we can’t move forward, mostly because fear becomes the overriding emotion. So although I’ve nothing to say about cardioversion, I and almost certainly everyone else here will empathise with your dilemma and the decision you will need to make at some point.
I hope someone here can come up with something to help you.


Hi Tracey, thank you for your message. Anxiety went off the scale. I even had a vision of my sister in law who passed away 10 years, she looked very well, surrouned by bright light then disappeared :dizzy_face: . I also had to confirm that I hadn’t missed a dose of apixaban the previous 3 weeks - I could see the tablet on the floor, but I couldn’t remember when it was, or if I had even taken it, to me it felt like a couple of days, husband said it was a few weeks before. One of the meds I’ve got does give me weird dreams when the tiredness kicks in. Looking back it seems so stupid, almost comical, as though I was being told don’t do it. I just don’t want to bring on another. I’m still struggling to accep this one. Thank you again. Hope you are able to enjoy this lovely spell of weather.


@SarahG I echo what @Trace57 says. It is a bit of a catch 22 as there’s a risk either way. I don’t know if they’ve put %ages on the risk but in my experience they wouldn’t operate if the risk was too high & I guess they have to tell you all risks however small.

Perhaps have a chat with your GP about your concerns & i’m sure they’ll explain it all too you.

Stress & anxiety isn’t good for heart or stroke risk so you need to find a way to decrease your levels which will reduce any operation risks even further. xx


GP isn’t interested. He’s passed the buck!! Just hoping to hear of someone’s experience. I know people who have had cardioversion, some have worked some haven’t, but I don’t know of anyone who has had a stroke, found out it was beacause of AF and have had the cardioversion to try and get it sorted. Thank you so much for replying.


Hi @SarahG

The only other thread on here that talks about it is

Dream a little dream

Which is more about travel insurance but if you reach out to strings he might have more info from his wife about the actual AF cardioversion side of things


@SarahG, @SimonInEdinburgh just seen this post. My wife’s AF came on quite suddenly in the late spring of 2020 as COVID and lockdowns were happening. It started as a galloping heart rate along with extreme tiredness. She was too scared of COVID to call the doctor because at the time people were catching COVID in hospital and there were no vaccines or treatment yet. It got so bad that about 3 days later she called the surgery. She was in there an hour later and given beta blockers to bring down the rate which was nearly 150. The AF was not due to a stroke but later found to be due to imbalance in the heart valves. She was stabilised on a cocktail of meds and eventually put on the list for cardioversion which came around June 2021. The procedure was successful and she has since had her meds modified to maintain the heart rate and prevent a recurrence of the AF. There was no mention afaik of stroke being a side effect of cardioversion, so that’s a new one on me. Cardioversion is a very common and generally successful procedure so the decision is to either accept the risks or refuse the procedure and risk another stroke from the AF. It’s a personal choice but you might get more of an insight into the degree of risk by talking to the consultants involved. Best wishes.

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I am very confused on the whole AF front. My husband has had it for 30+ years, had 2 operations that didnt work and has been on tablets for 30 years. Last April he had a stroke but luckily no after effects. This was put down to AF. Then blood thinners are added to the daily tablet routine. 6 months later he has another stroke but this one is paralysis on right side and lost speech and also has apraxia. This stroke was put down to AF.

How can it always be AF? After the first one he had the 3 day heart monitor which didnt show any AF problems.

Very confused!

you may have been correctly advised by educated knowledgeable and caring people but you might also have been offered a convenient and convincing excuse and they might still be educated knowledgeable and caring people or they might just have not had a clue and reach for the an answer as a “there’s an answer. end of”

The way in which all the factors combine leads to manifestations that may change radically for no observable change in status.
Any of the things you’ve been told in the past may have been partial or completely wrong or right at the time but no longer applicable…

I don’t think we’re likely to be able to give you answers but I think your medical advisors could be pinned down a little more but that may just result in your revealing that they don’t really know so grasp for the plausible nearest to hand answer


Yes, my thoughts too!

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HI, I totally agree, it is so confusing. Sometimes it is hard to diagnose AF, especially when symptoms come and go, if they don’t pick it up at the time of an ECG all looks OK. My stroke was because of undiagnosed AF, so straight on to blood thinner recommended for stroke, then when AF confirmed put onto apixaban instead. BP tablets don’t seem to be doing the job of decreasing heart rate effectively either. We are all so different. Thank you for replying, i hope husband improves

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