Ascension Wisconsin Chiari Center

  • Specialty Care
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The Wisconsin Chiari Center: Virtual Visit

The Wisconsin Chiari Center at Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Milwaukee is one of only a handful of such centers in the country to focus on the diagnosis and treatment of the Chiari malformation and related disorders.

Our strength lies in the collaboration of our outstanding team of neurologists, neurosurgeons and radiologists. The center builds on the unique experience of Dr. Dan Heffez who, for the past 16 years, has dedicated much energy and thought towards understanding the Chiari malformation and improving its treatment. He has a world-wide reputation and has consulted with patients from every state in the union, from Canada and from countries as far away as South Africa, South Korea and Australia.

The unique nature of our approach, developed by Dr. Heffez, lies in the fact that we first determine the neurological basis for your symptoms. We don't just look at an MRI scan. The nervous system is designed in such a way that your symptoms and neurological examination can tell an attentive doctor exactly where to look for the explanation. In the case of Chiari malformation, the findings always clearly point to the cervical spinal cord and brain stem.

The difficulty in diagnosing Chiari arises because it is just one disorder that can disturb the function of the brain stem and spinal cord. An important part of our job is to exclude those conditions that do not require surgery but, instead, are better treated by medication.

If a surgical problem is discovered, our job is determine which surgery is most appropriate for your case. This is not a "one size fits all" problem. Our goal is to improve the quality of your life and not to perform unnecessary surgery. We understand the frustration of living with constant pain and our team will work together to find the answers for your specific condition.

What will a visit to The Wisconsin Chiari Center entail? The links below will let you know:

Your Visit to The Wisconsin Chiari Center

Testing & Imaging