Treatments and Procedures
The Heart and Vascular Center and our experienced physicians offer treatments for a wide range of heart and vascular conditions, including minimally invasive and robotic surgery.
The vast majority of heart procedures are performed in a catheterization lab. While most community hospitals are not equipped with catheterization labs, Community Memorial Hospital has three, each fully equipped to perform a wide variety of minimally invasive procedures. In a heart catheterization, a doctor inserts a catheter — usually through the groin — into a chamber or vessel of the heart. Our doctors use catheterizations to:
- Open arteries and insert stents. When a patient comes to the Emergency Department with heart attack symptoms, he or she is immediately taken to the catheterization lab where a doctor opens the blocked artery by inserting a balloon into the area. In many cases, the doctor will insert a mesh stent to keep the artery open permanently.
- Perform an atherectomy. This procedure involves removing plaque from within a blood vessel. Doctors use atherectomies to treat peripheral artery disease.
- Diagnose problems inside the heart or blood vessels. During an angiogram (a medical imaging technique), doctors use a catheter to insert a contrast agent into the blood vessel and use X-ray-based techniques to visualize the heart and blood vessels.
One of the Heart and Vascular Center's catheterization labs is dedicated to electrophysiology procedures, an advanced capability in a community hospital. Electrophysiology is the study of electrical activity in the heart. The Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Electrophysiology Clinic, located on the third floor of the Heart and Vascular Center, is comprised of cardiologists who specialize in electrophysiology and perform procedures in the electrophysiology lab.
For years, heart surgery has been performed through a long incision in the sternum (breastbone) to reach the heart. Today, cardiothoracic surgeons at Community Memorial Hospital can perform minimally invasive heart surgery — including robotic-assisted surgery — to correct many types of heart problems, such as a broken valve or a hole in the heart. This approach has many benefits for patients.
Our partners at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin provide a wide range of innovative treatment options for rare heart conditions, including some that are not readily available in the region. Medical College of Wisconsin physicians participate in research studies and clinical trials.