Mountain climber grateful for life-saving heart surgery


Get personalized care from trusted cardiologists.

As an avid mountain climber, Gerhard has enjoyed living a physically active lifestyle. That changed suddenly when he noticed he was having trouble walking up the stairs and was short of breath. It turns out that his left descending artery, which he referred to as the “widow maker artery,” was almost completely blocked.

Gerhard needed to have a stent inserted. He said the minimally invasive heart procedure changed his life for the better, and he was able to return to the activities he always enjoyed. “I noticed an incredible change,” Gerhard says. “It was almost like being reborn.”

Cardiologists at Ascension in Wisconsin take the time to understand you and your health to provide heart care that’s right for you -- from routine heart care and screenings to specialty care and advanced surgical care. If you notice symptoms or recognize that something is different, don’t delay care. Our doctors are ready to care for you with personalized care.

Personalized care from trusted cardiologists and vascular specialists

Cardiologists and vascular specialists at Ascension in Wisconsin are trained in the latest heart care testing, treatment and procedures. From managing high blood pressure, pulmonary hypertension or high cholesterol to helping prevent heart attack or stroke, our care teams listen to understand you, then provide the care that’s right for you. And if surgery is needed, our doctors offer minimally-invasive and advanced surgery options for AFib and other heart rhythm disorders, congenital heart disease and heart failure.

And as part of a national network of specialists, sharing best practices and treatment options, you have access to advanced heart care close to home.

Providing more options and committed to helping protect patients while in our care

At Ascension Wisconsin, our hospitals, ERs, clinics, and facilities have strict precautions in place for the safety of patients in our care:

  • Staggering appointments and limiting people in waiting rooms to allow for proper social distancing
  • Continuing to wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Screening patients, visitors, doctors, nurses and care teams before they enter
  • Extensively cleaning and disinfecting all areas more often

Some of our cardiologists have now added virtual or telehealth options. Through an online video chat, a doctor can listen, learn about the patient’s current health concerns, answer questions and work with each patient on a personalized care plan. This may be an option for some types of appointments so that seeing a doctor from home is easier.

Get back to doing the simplest things you love about life

Before Gerhard’s stent placement procedure, he was not sure if he would ever be able to experience activities like mountain climbing again. But the care he received allowed him to return to things he loves in life.

“I started again doing yard work, doing house work, I helped with the laundry,” he says. “Having the stent inserted basically saved my life.”

Care teams at Ascension Wisconsin offer life-saving procedures, from placing stents in order to open blocked arteries to repairing and replacing heart valves. And many of these procedures are minimally invasive, rather than open heart surgery.

Gerhard says he is grateful for the care he received at Ascension. He says, “I was totally impressed by every person I encountered. They make you feel welcome.”

Cardiologists at Ascension Wisconsin are ready to care for you, with available appointments. Don’t delay taking care of your heart. For consultations and follow-up care, ask about virtual visits. And if you need to come for an in-person visit, know that we have precautions in place for your safety while in our care.

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