Meriter Wisconsin Heart 2601 W. Beltline Hwy., Suite 200 Madison, WI 53713 608.417.2100
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Electrophysiology is the study of the electrical activity in your heart, specifically focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeats. When you experience an arrhythmia, your heart seems to skip a beat, or beats irregularly—either very fast or very slowly—which can be a warning sign of underlying heart disease.
The cardiac electrophysiology specialists at Meriter Heart & Vascular offer expertise in the electrical activity of the heart, providing advanced diagnostic tests and treatments for indiviudals with arrhythmias and other electrophysiology problems.
Atrial Fibrillation Center
A common heart rhythm disorder, atrial fibrillation affects about three million Americans, most over age 50. To meet this growing need in our community, Meriter Heart & Vascular is the only area provider to offer an Atrial Fibrillation Center supported by a team of interdisciplinary specialists trained in diagnosing and treating heart conditions.
Our unique program focuses on the comprehensive evaluation and treatment of patients with atrial fibrillation, including assessment and correction of contributing causes, anticoagulation needs and antiarrhythmic drug therapy. Our experts are also highly skilled in catheter ablation, an advanced technique that relies upon radiofrequency energy to destroy abnormal electrical pathways in the heart tissue. Uniquely tailored to each individual patient, this minimally invasive procedure offers a permanent cure for some types of arrhythmias, helping that individual avoid a lifetime of symptoms and drug treatment.
If you experience one or more short, sudden losses of consciousness, a referral to the Meriter Heart & Vascular Syncope Center can help provide answers. A common problem, syncope accounts for three percent of emergency room visits and six percent of hospital admissions nationwide. In some patients, syncope can indicate a more serious underlying cardiovascular condition and be the only sign of cardiac arrest. Depending on your condition, our team of specialists may determine an electrocardiogram, stress test, Holter monitor, tilt table test, echocardiogram or other procedure is needed to rule out cardiac problems.
Implanted Cardiac Devices
Every year, more than one-third of a million Americans receive a permanent pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), which can offer a longer and better quality of life. Many of those implanted in the Madison area have been at the skilled hands of the electrophysiology specialists at Meriter Heart & Vascular. Permanent Pacemaker Implantation – A pacemaker is a sophisticated electronic device that is implanted in your heart to analyze how it is functioning and when necessary, send electrical signals to correct any rhythm abnormalities.
Implanted Cardiac Devices (ICD) – If you have a potentially life-threatening heart rhythm, an ICD can be surgically implanted to monitor your heart rhythm and deliver an electrical shock when needed.
The Cardiac Device Clinic
The Device Clinic is staffed with specialty trained nurses and cardiac technicians who provide follow-up care to hundreds of area patients with pacemakers and ICDs to assess the outcome of treatment, optimize the functioning of each device and identify malfunctions at the earliest possible stage. Before being discharged from the hospital following an implant, our nurses provide one-on-one education for you and your family to ensure a healthy adjustment to living with a device.
Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy
Our electrophysiology team is skilled in the latest cardiac resynchronization therapy, also called biventricular pacing. If you have been diagnosed with heart failure, this advanced treatment uses a specialized pacemaker to help the right and left heart ventricles of your heart function better together. This therapy has been shown to improve the symptoms of heart failure and overall quality of life in certain patients with severe symptoms that aren’t controlled with medication.
Laser Lead Extraction
Should you experience problems with one of the leads on your pacemaker or ICD, Meriter specialists offer expertise in the latest removal techniques, including electrosurgical energy, mechanical sheaths and excimer laser energy.
Our specialists are skilled in cardioversion, a procedure used to treat many types of arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter and ventricular tachycardia. During cardioversion, two large patches are applied to your chest and electrical energy is sent to your heart to restore a normal rhythm. At times, a transesophageal echocardiogram is performed prior to the cardioversion procedure to evaluate blood flow across the heart.
Meriter Heart & Vascular specialists perform a variety of noninvasive procedures to help evaluate cardiac disorders including:
Event Recorders — An event recorder is used over several weeks to help diagnose a potential abnormal heart rhythm. Each time an irregular rhythm occurs, the device records it and transmits the data to our lab.
Holter Monitoring — This small device, which is connected by patches applied to your skin, is worn for a full day and night to record the electrical signals of your heart during normal activities.
Tilt Table Testing — During this simple procedure, our electrophysiology team examines how changes in body position impact your heart rate and blood pressure.