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Doctor freezes part of heart to correct heart rhythm disorder

Thursday, March 18, 2004

MILWAUKEE, Wis, Recently at St. Luke’s Medical Center, Charles Lanzarotti, M.D. used a new technology called cryoablation to correct a heart rhythm disorder in a 46-old-patient. St. Luke’s was the first hospital in Wisconsin to perform this procedure just a few months ago.

Cryoablation is performed when a small catheter is inserted into the leg and threaded through a vein into the right atrium of the heart. The catheter is then used to ablate a heart rhythm disorder by freezing the tiny area of the heart causing the disorder. This procedure allows the physician to destroy only the tissue causing the disorder without damaging surrounding normal heart tissue.

Historically, irregular heartbeats have been treated with radiofrequency ablation. Although radiofrequency ablation is usually successful, cryoablation allows physicians to test a small area of the heart first to assess the effectiveness of the treatment before applying the cryoablation technique. This provides for a more precise and effective treatment for heart rhythm disorders, with fewer complications, and generally allows patients to avoid the need for a pacemaker long term.

St. Luke’s Medical Center is a part of Aurora Health Care, a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Aurora offers services at sites in 80 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

Contact: Jennifer Gross (414-385-2363)

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