Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)


Possible Complications

Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:

  • Problems with thinking and memory—may go away in a couple of weeks or may last for many months
  • Short-term changes in heart rhythm
  • Long-lasting seizure
  • Heart attack or cardiac arrest

Things that may raise the risk of problems are:

  • A history of heart problems, stroke, or high blood pressure
  • Pregnancy
  • Increased age



This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.