Heart and Vascular Health

Cryoablation, a Fix for Heart Rhythm Disorders

Ascension SE Wisconsin heart doctors specializing in electrophysiology perform cryoablation, now giving adults with Afib more treatment options.

Afib Heart Doctors

Having a heart that beats too fast, that it quivers, or flutters is going to affect how your heart functions. Having atrial fibrillation (Afib) means the heart beats chaotically. The healthy blood you need isn’t being pumped throughout your body. Afib can lead to heart failure, stroke, and potentially shorten your life if untreated. Our electrophysiology (EP) doctors in southeastern Wisconsin were the first to use cryoablation to successfully treat Afib. We offer many treatment options at the four Ascension centers of heart care in Milwaukee, Brookfield and Racine.

The EP doctors represent a regional network of heart doctors specializing in heart rhythm disorders. Find a Doctor >

Ascension EP Labs Near You

Diagnostic testing starts with a thorough assessment of your heart based on EKG readings.EP testing labs are onsite at many of our Ascension Wisconsin Medical Groups and Cardiology Outreach Clinics, and EP labs. Diagnostic testing starts with a thorough assessment of your heart based on EKG readings. We have the expertise to interpret the findings and improve early diagnosis. When longer term cardiac monitoring is needed, we have a variety of small devices available. While EP doctors use tests where wires and leads are attached to your skin, none of the testing is painful, just a little sticky.

The EP doctors work closely with the cardiologists and heart surgeons, and your primary care doctor. We call it integrated care and gives you and your family long-term care and follow-up.

Treating All Stages of Afib

Many adults don’t even realize they have a heart rhythm disorder. Not everyone experiences traditional A-fib symptoms: fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, or chest pain. Yet Afib is very common and highly treatable when diagnosed early. If untreated, AFib can lead to an increased risk of heart failure, stroke, and death.  That is why it’s important at your annual physical to ask about your heart function. Age, high blood pressure, diabetes, coronary artery disease, and lifestyle choices may contribute to a developing Afib.

At Ascension you get a personalized care plan. There are many stages of Afib, including paroxysmal, persistent and permanent arrythmias. Assertively treating Afib lowers your risk for heart attack and stroke.

  • Electrophysiology (EP) testing of the heart’s electrical system
  • Medication management
  • Minimally invasive ablation procedures, including cryoablation, stereotaxis (EP robot-assisted ablation), and radiofrequency catheter ablation
  • Implantable pacemakers and defibrillators
  • CRT heart synchronization
  • Implantable loop recorder for long-term heart rhythm monitoring

For complex heart conditions, our EP doctors may consult with Ascension heart surgeons about the viability of surgical Afib therapy. For example, the MAZE procedure surgically corrects the electrical system of the heart creating new pathways to treat advanced AF.

More than 10-Year Experience with Cryoablation

Dr. Lanzarotti at Ascension St. Francis was the first to use cryoablation in Wisconsin. This minimally invasive procedure uses extremely cold energy to freeze the heart tissue that causes Afib.  A small catheter is navigated from your groin to the left atrium of the heart to reach the problem site. The success of the procedure is usually very good and can depend upon the duration of the Afib, as well as other heart conditions.  Patients are up and walking within a few hours of the ablation.

Learn more about the benefits of the arctic front cryoablation treatment for Afib from Charles Lanzarotti, MD, FACC, FACP. This procedure is currently available at Ascension St. Francis Hospital and Ascension All Saints Hospital Racine.

Untreated Afib Increases the Risk of Stroke

Preventing stroke and heart attack drives our doctors and heart care teams. Throughout southeastern Wisconsin, the Ascension network of heart and vascular services are at community-based hospitals and clinics, bringing cardiovascular care closer to home. Our doctors have extensive experience and continually identify the best treatment option for you.

Doug’s story: Doug Dillman is a Wisconsin hot rod radio personality whose Afib was holding him back from the life he loves. Working with Dr. Lanzarotti, an EP heart doctor at Ascension St. Francis, and having cryoablation was a winning choice.

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