Electrophysiology Program

Our Electrophysiology Program offers all specialized care options for children with potential heart rhythm problems and for children living with a pacemaker or other implantable device. Our physician staff includes Wisconsin’s only group of interventional pediatric electrophysiologists, pediatric cardiologists specially trained to perform procedures to correct heart rhythm problems. This means complex treatments can take place close to home in Milwaukee rather than out of state.

Expertise spans common to complex arrhythmias

We treat hundreds of children with arrhythmias each year, so our caregivers really understand how arrhythmias are different in children than adults. We work in a state-of-the-art hybrid cardiac catheterization lab where we can diagnose and treat your child in just one episode of care, saving time, improving outcomes, and reducing stress.

Thanks to our expertise and resources, we often see the most difficult cases. Our success stories include children with life-threatening and intractable arrhythmias who have been transported to CHW from Madison and other children’s hospitals using extra corporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO, a type of portable heart-lung bypass machine.

If your child has a heart rhythm problem, it is reassuring to know that our Electrophysiology Program provides all of the diagnostic and treatment services your child might need, closer to home. Our pediatric electrophysiologists perform catheter ablations, pacemaker insertions, and implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) implantations, as well as other high-level procedures not offered elsewhere in the state. In collaboration with our ACHD partners we also manage arrhythmias in adults with congenital heart disease who have arrhythmia issues.

We treat many types of arrhythmias, including:

  • Adams-Stokes disease (also called Stokes-Adams attacks)
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Atrial flutter
  • Bradycardia
  • Brugada Syndrome
  • Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT)
  • Heart block
  • Long QT syndrome (LQTS)
  • Premature ventricular contractions (PVC) and premature atrial contractions (PAC)
  • Sick sinus syndrome
  • Sudden cardiac arrest
  • Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT)
  • Vasovagal syncope
  • Ventricular fibrillation (v-fib) – frequent cause of sudden cardiac death
  • Ventricular tachycardia
  • Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome

Electrophysiology studies

Many children have an arrhythmia that can be cured with a same day procedure called an electrophysiology study with catheter ablation. This minimally invasive test takes place in the hybrid cardiac catheterization lab. The child is asleep during the 2-3 hour procedure under the care of a children’s heart anesthesiologist. The pediatric electrophysiologist carefully places small, thin tubes (catheters) through the child’s groin and into the heart. Using multiple modes of mapping technology the irritable spot in the child’s heart is identified and then corrected.

Pacemakers and ICDs

Our team cares for babies, children, and adults with pacemakers, ICDs, and other implanted devices. We manage the patient in our clinics and from the patient’s home, the latter with the use of remote clinic technology. Finally, we work in conjunction with our colleagues in pediatric and congenital heart surgery to determine the best and safest pacemaker surgery for an individual based on their age, size, and specific heart disease.