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Treatments & Procedures

Treatments & Procedures

To us, it’s not just about the heart or vascular systems; it’s about the whole person.  That’s why we approach patient care holistically. We provide individualized care that draws on our experience to prescribe a treatment plan that works best for you.

We have dedicated the past 25 years to helping our patients live life to its fullest.

While most cardiologists only address the coronary vasculature, our cardiologists work on the entire vascular system. This allows us to offer patients a complete assessment and solution to their difficulties which often extend merely beyond the heart.

We are powerful advocates for saving limbs. We have a history of being able to save legs from amputation. If you’re facing amputation ask us for a second opinion. We’ll tell you if we can restore the circulation in your legs back to normal, thereby avoiding amputation. We can avoid amputation in the majority of cases we see.

Better Care for You

The Heart and Vascular Institute has the unique distinction of being the only physician owned lab in Wisconsin. This enables us to deliver care in an elegant setting with excellent cost efficiency. We offer care at a fraction of the cost of local hospitals.

Another benefit to having your treatment with us is our size. Unlike some hospitals that feel like a small city, our lab is all on one floor and is easily accessible. You won’t get lost in our facility. Parking is easy and convenient.

Even though we’re smaller we’re equipped with the latest technology. You’re in great hands with our experienced doctors and highly trained staff.

We can perform the following nonsurgical treatments and procedures:

Cardiac Biopsy: Cardiac Biopsy is a minimally invasive procedure that removes a small sample of your heart muscle so that it can be evaluated in a lab. A catheter is inserted into the heart through a blood vessels in the neck. You’ll be given an anesthetic to numb the area and an IV to help you relax. You won’t feel pain as the sample is removed.

The sample is sent to the lab and results are then given to your doctor who will discuss the results with you.

Cardiac Catheterization: Cardiac Catheterization is a test that checks your heart. A thin tube called a catheter is inserted into the heart through the blood vessels in the groin, neck, or arm. Using this catheter, doctors can check blood flow in the coronary arteries, check blood flow and blood pressure in the chambers of the heart, to find out how well the heart valves work, and to check for defects in the way the wall of the heart moves.

Usually, you’ll be awake during this procedure, but you’ll be given medication to help you relax. There is a quick recovery time following the procedure, and there’s low risk of complications.

Cardioversion: This medical procedure is done to restore a normal heart rhythm for people who have an irregular or fast heartbeat, called arrhythmia. The most common irregular heart rhythms that require cardioversion are atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter.

There are two types of cardioversion. Electrical cardioversion is performed by sending a low-voltage electric shock to your heart through electrodes placed on your chest. You’ll be given medication through an IV to make you fall asleep during the procedure.

A pharmacologic (chemical) cardioversion is where the doctor will give you a medication to restore your regular heartbeat.

For the majority of people, cardioversion restores a heart to its normal rhythm.

Though the procedure itself only takes a few minutes the preparation and recovery time add a few hours to your appointment. Most patients are able to go home the same day as the procedure.

Radiofrequency Ablation: This nonsurgical procedure is used to treat some types of rapid heart beating, such as atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, and atrial tachycardia. Abnormal cells starting in the upper chamber or middle region of the heart can cause rapid, uncoordinated heartbeats.

For the procedure, you will be given a medication to help you relax and a local anesthetic to numb the site where the catheter is inserted.

To get rid of those abnormal cells, the doctor guides a catheter with an electrode at the tip to the area of the heart muscle where abnormal tissue is located. A mild, painless radiofrequency energy is emitted from the electrode to the abnormal cells that are causing the problem, destroying the cells. Once gone, the cells can no longer send the extra impulses that cause the rapid heartbeats; thereby restoring the heart to its regular rhythm.

The doctor will decide whether you can go home the same day or whether you will need to stay longer to continue monitoring your heart. For the 2 to 3 days following the procedure you may feel tired, or your chest may feel achy. On and off for the next few weeks you may notice skipped heartbeats or extra heartbeats until the small scars created in the heart heal.

Leg or Peripheral Angiography & Intervention: This test uses x-rays and dye to help your doctor find narrowed or blocked areas in the arteries that supply blood to your legs. Also called a Peripheral Angiogram, the test will help your doctor determine whether a procedure is needed to open any blocked arteries.

If the doctor does find a blockage they can immediately perform one of three procedures to eliminate the blockage.

  • They can remove the plaque with laser atherectomy. This is where small bits of plaque are vaporized by the tip of a laser probe.
  • Perform an angioplasty, where a small balloon is inflated in the artery to stretch and open the artery for improved blood flow.
  • Insert a stent, in which a metal mesh tube is placed to maintain the expanded artery.

Leg or Peripheral Angioplasty: During this procedure a thin flexible tube called a catheter is inserted through an artery and guided to a location where the artery is narrowed. When the tube reaches the narrowed artery, a small balloon at the end of the tube inflates for a short time. The pressure from the balloon presses the fat and calcium (plaque) against the wall of the artery to improve blood flow.

Carotid Angiography: This imaging procedure involves inserting a catheter into the blood vessels in the arm or leg, and guiding it to the carotid arteries with the aid of a special x-ray machine. A special dye is used to help the arteries show up on the x-ray. We will be able to see if there is narrowing or blockages of the blood vessels. This test can help determine your risk for stroke and the need for treatment.

Renal Angiography: This is an x-ray of the blood vessels that feed the kidney. A needle is placed in an artery near the groin where a catheter will be inserted. The catheter will be moved into the aorta and then into the kidney artery. A special dye is used to help the arteries show up on the x-ray. We will be able to see if there are aneurysms, blood clots, narrowing of the blood vessels, tumors, or active bleeding of the kidney.

Abdominal Angiography: This imaging procedure involves inserting a catheter into the blood vessels, usually in the arm or groin. The catheter will be guided into the abdomen. A special dye is used to help the arteries show up on the x-ray. We will be able to see if there is narrowing or blockages of the blood vessels, or if an aneurysm is present. This test can assess the blood flow to organs of the abdomen, such as the liver and spleen.

Subclavian Angiography: The subclavian vein empties blood from the upper extremities and carries it back to the heart.  This test uses x-rays and dye to help your doctor determine if there is an aneurysm present and how to treat it.

Implantable Loop Recorder: This small device is implanted just under the skin of the chest to the left of your breastbone. The Implantable Loop Recorder has the ability to record the electrical activity of the heart. This can be done in two ways. The first way it is activated according to heart range readings set on the device by your doctor. If the heart rate drops below the lowest value set, it will automatically start recording. Also, if the heart rate rises over the highest value set it will automatically begin recording.

The recorder can also be triggered to record when the patient pushes a button on the device if they experience symptoms of dizziness, lightheadedness, or skipped heart beats. The doctor can then view the recordings at your next office visit.

This device is used for patients who experience symptoms such as syncope (fainting), dizziness, lightheadedness, seizures, or recurrent palpitations. The Implantable Loop Recorder works best for patients who experience these symptoms regularly but not often enough to be captured by a 24-hour or 30-day external monitor.

By examining the recordings, your doctor can look at your heart rhythms before, during, and after you experience symptoms. They may be able to tell whether the cause is heart-related, and if so recommend treatment. If a heart rhythm problem can be ruled out, your doctor can focus on other potential causes of your symptoms.

Pacemaker Insertion, Removal, Generator Change: A Pacemaker is a small device that’s placed under the skin near your heart to help control your heartbeat. People may need a pacemaker for a variety of reasons. The most common reasons would be arrhythmias, in which the heart’s rhythm is abnormal.

The pacemaker houses a battery and a tiny computer. Wires are threaded through the veins in the heart and implanted into the heart muscle. They send impulses to the heart muscle. Each impulse causes the heart to contract to a steady rhythm.

Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) Insertion, Removal: An Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) is a small device placed under the skin in the chest or abdomen to treat patients with irregular heartbeats (arrhythmia).

The device sends an electrical shock to the heart. If it detects an irregular heartbeat it sends low-energy pulses to the heart to try and restore a regular rhythm. If the rhythm is not restored the ICD will send high-energy pulses to the heart to start defibrillation.  This differs from a Pacemaker which only sends low-energy pulses.

PICC Line (Peripherially Inserted Central Catheter): A peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) is a tube that goes into a vein in your arm. It is used to carry nutrients or medicine into your body. It is also used to take blood when you need to have blood tests done. These catheters are used when people need IV medical treatment or routine blood drawing over a long period of time. A PICC line stays in place for as long as needed.

PICCs are frequently used to obtain central venous access for patients in acute care, home care, and skilled nursing care.