Cardiac Electrophysiology

Treating Cardiovascular Diseases in Wisconsin and Northern Illinois

The Cardiac Electrophysiology Division of Aurora Health Care is an internationally renowned specialty program that focuses on diagnosing, managing and treating arrhythmias (abornal heartbeats) and other conditions related to the heart’s electrical system. We are located within Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and many other hopsitals.

Your heart has a natural pacemaker that sends out electrical signals to the rest of the heart muscle. These signals force your heart’s four chambers to relax and contract in a rhythmic pattern, forcing life-sustaining blood and oxygen throughout your body. Without this flow of electrical impulses, your heart would be a motionless pump.

Problems with the heart’s electrical system can cause a variety of symptoms, ranging from minor palpitations, dizziness and lightheadedness to syncope (fainting), sudden cardiac arrest and death. In the United States, heart rhythm disorders are thought to cause more than 300,000 deaths each year. In another example, atrial fibrillation, an irregular rhythm comming from the upper chamber of the hear, is one of the most common causes of admission to the hospital.

Today we routinely cure many arrhythmias, which improves our patients’ quality of life and virtually eliminates the risk of sudden cardiac death. In cases where arrhythmias can’t be cured, our goal is to manage them with medications, procedures or implanted devices to help prevent heart damage, reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death and help patients live more comfortably—without the discomfort or worry of uncontrollable arrhythmias.

Experienced Electrophysiologists and Staff

Electrophysiology emerged as a cardiac specialty in the late 1960s. Masood Akhtar, MD established Aurora’s Electrophysiology Division in 1977. He has specialized in this field since 1972 and is one of the preeminent electrophysiologists in the world today.

Aurora’s Cardiac Electrophysiology Division is one of the oldest and most active programs in the United States. We have 11 full-time electrophysiologists and all are fully trained cardiologists (heart specialists) who have one to two years of additional training in electrophysiology. Because our services are complex and comprehensive, we also provide our nurses and technologists with additional, on-site training. We also train many physicians in the field every year from the United States and across the world.

Sophisticated Equipment and Treatments

By their very nature, many arrhythmias have fleeting or episodic symptoms that make them difficult to identify and diagnose. Our experienced team and sophisticated equipment help us identify the precise cause of these conditions, which is so crucial for their successful treatment.

Along with various types of outpatient monitoring and testing, our diagnostic tools include:

  • Electrophysiology studies
  • Head-up tilt testing
  • Catheter ablation, including pulmonary vein isolation
  • Device therapy
  • Drug therapy
  • Heart surgery
  • Intraoperative mapping is performed only during an already scheduled open-heart surgery to locate an arrhythmia’s exact point of origin, usually found near a previously damaged area of the heart. Once the location is determined, the arrhythmia can be corrected during the surgery.

Setting a New Course—Then and Now

Because our Electrophysiology Division is part of a teaching and clinical research program, our electrophysiologists not only treat patients, they also teach, perform clinical research, publish and present at national and international conferences. Our research program allows us to provide our patients with access to newer devices, drugs and therapies not yet available to other health care providers.

For example, we implanted the first atrial defibrillator in the United States. We were also the first in the nation to perform a catheter ablation and an epicardial ablation to treat atrial fibrillation. Our electrophysiologists were among the first to treat patients with ventricular and supraventricular arrhythmias, first surgically and then using catheter-based techniques. We continue to make new strides in this field each year.

We welcome you to contact us for more information:

Aurora Cardiac Electrophysiology Division

Aurora Cardiovascular Services, Aurora Medical Group
2801 W. Kinnickinnic River Parkway
St. Luke's Physician Office Building, Suite 777
Milwaukee, WI 53215-3669
888-873-1783

Physicians and Staff

Electrophysiologists:

Jasbir S. Sra, MD, FACC, FHRS
Electrophysiologist & AF Center Director
Dr. Sra has been an electrophysiologist in our health care system since 1990. He performed his first atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation in 1999. In 1995, he was the first doctor in the United States to implant the atrial defibrillator for atrial fibrillation. He is board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease and Cardiac Electrophysiology. In 1999, he was appointed Cedicine, Cardiovascular Disease Section, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Sra is the Atrial Fibrillation Center Medical Director. He has been honored as a Fellow by the American College of Cardiology and a Fellow by the Heart Rhythm Society, as well as listings in The Best Doctors in America for a number of years.

Ryan Cooley, MD
Electrophysiologist
Dr. Cooley has been an electrophysiologist in our health care system since 1999. He is board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease and Cardiac Electrophysiology. In 1999, he was appointed Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease Section, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

Masood Akhtar, MD, FACC, FACP, FAHA, FHRS, MACP
Clinical Professor of Medicine, Electrophysiologist
Board Certifications: Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology

Atul Bhatia, MD, FACC
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine
Board Certifications: Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiovascular Disease, Internal Medicine

Zalmen Blanck, MD, FACC
Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine
Board Certifications: Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology

Indrajit Choudhuri, MD
Board Certifications: Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology

Anwer Dhala, MD, FACC, FHRS
Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine
Clinical Professor of Pediatrics
Board Certifications: Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology

Mohamed Djelmami-Hani, MD, FHRS
Electrophysiologist
Dr. Hani is Board certified in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology. He received advanced fellowship training in complex interventional EP procedures including atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia ablation. He has been honored as a Fellow by the Heart Rhythm Society.
Board Certifications: Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiovascular Disease, Internal Medicine

M. Eyman Mortada, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine
Board Certifications: Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiovascular Disease, Internal Medicine

Vikram Nangia, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine
Board Certifications: Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiovascular Disease, Internal Medicine