Aspirus has built one of Wisconsin’s best cardiovascular programs. From diagnosis to discharge, we provide complete cardiovascular care, more options, and superior outcomes. At Aspirus Heart & Vascular, we pool the energies and expertise of the best surgeons, cardiologists, and research specialists to attack the disease from all angles.
Aspirus Wausau Hospital has been selected as one of the Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospitals in the country by Truven Health Analytics,™ a leading health care data tracker.
Using the latest diagnostic and surgical innovations, Aspirus Heart & Vascular provides complete cardiovascular care, including:
Aspirus Heart & Vascular is more than a building or a place; it is the confluence of dedicated, excellent cardiovascular professionals from multiple disciplines. These professionals serve 450,000 residents of a 14-county region at Aspirus Wausau Hospital and at 11 regional clinic sites throughout Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) is a common condition that affects millions of people. Left untreated, AFib can lead to increased risk of stroke, heart failure and even death. AFib symptoms stop people from doing the things in life that they love and from being healthier and more active.
Visit our comprehensive A-fib site to learn more at: Treatafib.org
Symptoms of AFib:
Patients diagnosed with AFib now have access to expert management of this serious condition at the Aspirus Heart and Vascular AFib Clinic. The collaborative approach provided at the AFib Clinic means you will meet with an array of experts to develop individualized treatment plan to address your condition.
For information regarding referrals, scheduling or to answer general questions, please call the AFib Clinic. Patients may be referred by their physician or may self-refer. Second opinions are welcome.
To schedule an appointment, please call the Afib Clinic at 866-783-6266.
Or visit: treatafib.org
Heart Valve Disease is a complex condition that if unrecognized or left untreated, can significantly reduce quality of life and can be life-threatening. Patients who have been diagnosed with a heart valve problem now have access to expert management of this condition at The Valve Center at Aspirus Heart & Vascular.
Visit our dedicated valve disease site at: valvedisease.org
The Valve Clinic experience is designed as a one-day visit. In one complete day, patients undergo a comprehensive exam that includes a thorough clinical assessment, diagnostic studies, and education about the severity of their valve disease.
Aspirus Heart & Vascular is a regional leader in surgical treatment for heart valve disease. Recent surgical advances allow for more options to repair diseased valves, including:
To schedule an appointment, please call the The Valve Clinic at 877-9743-3571.
Aspirus Heart & Vascular provides innovative solutions to better manage heart failure to help reduce your chance of hospitalization.
Heart failure (HF) occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s demands. When this occurs, blood pressure eventually increases leading to congestive symptoms and commonly to shortness of breath. Significant HF progression over a period of days often leads to hospitalization.
The CardioMEMS™ Heart Failure System is the first and only FDA-approved heart failure monitoring solution that provides vital real-time measurements from inside a person’s body. These measurements, such as pulmonary artery pressure and heart rate, allow physicians to more effectively manage patients with heart failure and drastically reduce the likelihood of hospital readmissions. In trials, the use of CardioMEMS reduced hospital admissions for heart failure patients by 37 percent.
CardioMEMS is a small sensor that is permanently implanted into the pulmonary artery via a minimally-invasive catheter procedure. Once in place, it provides real-time, on-demand access to data like pulmonary artery pressure and heart rate. A wireless electronics system is used to transmit the data to a secure website, which is then read remotely in the doctor’s office. With access to this data, physicians can make time-sensitive treatment decisions that can help keep patients out of the hospital.
Aspirus Heart & Vascular is the first to provide this innovate treatment to patients in Wisconsin.
The Heart Failure Resource Center is a specialized clinic within Aspirus Cardiology seeing patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) in our Wausau office. Patients can come from anywhere within Aspirus or an outside system based on referral guidelines, medication management guidelines and personnel guidelines that have been set up.
The goal of the clinic is to provide compassionate care and available services to manage heart failure symptoms in the outpatient setting and avoid hospital admissions. We have the ability to give IV diuretics (water medication) in the clinic, preventing patients from having to go to the hospital. We provide education on medications, diet, exercise, monitoring of symptoms, and other topics related to heart failure. We provide close follow-up with clinic visits and phone calls to patients at home to monitor symptoms. We encourage family members to attend visits to allow for more integrated care throughout the system.
Call Aspirus Cardiology at 800-441-4013 to find out if CardioMEMS or the Heart Failure Resource Center might be right for you.
Aspirus Heart & Vascular offers a broad range of cardiac procedures, testing and surgical options. You benefit from an individualized approach to heart care, including diagnosis, intervention and rehabilitation.
If you have been told that you need heart surgery, it is vital to choose the best care available. At Aspirus Heart & Vascular, our surgical program has repeatedly
been recognized as one of the best in Wisconsin. We are leaders minimally-invasive techniques and offer a broader range of treatment options to help maximize outcomes, safety and patient comfort.
When you contact the Heart Surgery Second Opinion Program, our compassionate experts will meet with you within 48 hours of your call to discuss surgical options that can make a difference in your outcome.
To schedule an appointment, please call 715-847-0400.
At Aspirus Heart & Vascular, our surgeons employ the widest array of technologies and techniques in the region, allowing patients to choose the treatment most likely to get you back on your feet , doing the things you love sooner.
Click on the surgical options below for more information:
Aspirus Heart & Vascular provides many options for valve repair and replacement, including minimally invasive mitral valve surgery and mitral valve repair surgery. Our surgeons have extensive experience with valve repair surgery, and offer a comprehensive range of valve replacement options.
Learn more about advanced heart valve disease treatments at valvedisease.org
Aspirus Heart & Vascular physicians have been performing surgery for atrial fibrillation since 2002, with excellent results. Now, a minimally invasive surgery is helping people who suffer from atrial fibrillation, but are otherwise healthy.
Learn more about A-Fib treatment at treatafib.org.
Aspirus Heart & Vascular was the first program in the region to perform and embrace this superior technique for bypass surgery. Beating heart surgery, also called “off-pump surgery,” has higher success rates, promotes faster recovery and reduces complications. AHV surgeons perform about 95% of bypass surgeries using this technique.
Aspirus Heart & Vascular is a national leader in the use of minimally invasive techniques that improve surgery. In addition to minimally invasive mitral valve surgery, another minimally invasive procedure performed by Aspirus Heart & Vascular is Endoscopic Vessel Harvest. This is a method of removing graft material for bypass surgery using half-inch incisions, rather than leg- or forearm-long incisions. This causes far less pain and reduces the chances of infection.
Often, heart problems can be treated without surgery, and Aspirus Heart & Vascular offers a broad range of cardiac procedures, some available nowhere else in Wisconsin.
Click on the non-surgical treatment options below for more information:
Angioplasty is the gold standard for treating blockages. During the procedure, a cardiologist uses a thin wire catheter to access a diseased vessel to then open the blockage. In some cases, a tiny metal coil called a stent is expanded inside the blocked vessel and left in place to keep it from re-narrowing.
In CTOs the coronary artery blockage is too hard to be treated with traditional angioplasty. Using an advanced non-surgical technique, a catheter is inserted to reach the diseased coronary artery to restore blood flow. This minimally invasive approach allows patients to recover faster and get back to regular life activities.
Restoring blood flow to a vessel previously blocked with a CTO may significantly improve your quality of life by providing symptom relief and improved heart function and may help you avoid coronary artery bypass graft surgery.
If you have been diagnosed CTO and have not been offered any treatment options call Aspirus Cardiology at 800-441-4013 for a case evaluation by interventional cardiologist Pavel Guigauri, MD.
This procedure utilizes right radial artery, located in the wrist, as an entry point for catheterizations. Advantages of this technique include:
Irregular heart rhythms, or arrhythmias, affect millions of Americans. Some arrhythmias require no treatment or can be effectively managed with lifestyle changes and medications, some require additional treatment.
At Aspirus Heart & Vascular, we offer pacemakers, which are implanted into the patient's heart or upper chest to provide a reliable heartbeat when the heart's own rhythm is too fast, too slow or irregular. Catheter ablation is another non-surgical procedure done by an Electrophysiologist (EP doctor) to ablate (scar) part of an abnormal electrical pathway of the heart that is causing the heart rhythm problem.
A method of reducing low-density lipoprotein, or “bad cholesterol,” levels in people unable to do so with diet and medication. The treatment is performed as often as once a week and usually takes three hours to complete.
A noninvasive therapy for certain patients with chronic chest pain. With the patient lying on a bed, compression cuffs (similar to blood pressure cuffs) are wrapped around the calves, thighs and lower abdomen. Treatment usually lasts an hour per day, five days per week, for seven weeks.
A treatment for people with a hole in the wall between the atria, or upper chambers of the heart. This hole, called Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO), increases risk for heart attack and stroke. By placing threading a special catheter into the heart, a cardiologist can place a small umbrella-like closure device in the hole, sealing it. Over time, heart tissue grows over the implant, becoming part of the heart.
Identifying the problem early.
Cardiovascular disease takes many forms. Because early diagnosis vastly improves your chances of effective treatment and recovery, Aspirus Heart & Vascular provides a complete array of diagnostic tests, including leading technologies that can save lives.
Click on the diagnostic testing options below for more information:
Stress tests document how the heart functions under a workload, so doctors can search for indications of blockage or other problems. Stress tests can be performed with leading ultrasound machines or nuclear imaging equipment to provide the most accurate results.
Using computed tomography, or CT, imaging technology, our experts can often identify disease in the heart and elsewhere in the vascular system. Tests using this modality include:
Echocardiography uses ultrasound to examine heart function and anatomy. This is done non-invasively, by placing a probe on your chest. These tests can find clots, evaluate valvular function, and locate abnormalities.
People who have irregular heart rhythms can be difficult to diagnose, especially if these “arrhythmias” are unpredictable. There are many hospital-based or portable tests to monitor heart rhythms and rates during everyday activities. These are worn for various lengths of time. Here are some examples:
Sometimes doctors will do a diagnostic cardiac catheterization, during which a small catheter, or hollow tube, is guided through a vessel into the heart or surrounding coronary arteries. A colorless, liquid "dye" is injected through the catheter, and shows narrowing in the arteries, outside heart size, inside chamber size, pumping ability of the heart, ability of the valves to open and close, as well as a measurement of the pressures within the heart.
Catheterization often serves as the basis for future interventions, or for planning purposes.
The battle with cardiovascular disease doesn’t end with surgery or a catheterization procedure. Our nationally-recognized Cardiovascular Rehabilitation program has what you need to return to the normal, active lifestyle you once enjoyed. Through education, monitored exercise, and risk factor counseling, we will help you manage your cardiovascular disease. Our program is certified through the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.
For more information, or to register for any of the classes described on this page, please call Aspirus Cardiac Rehab at 715-847-2830.
This begins during your hospital stay. You will receive education and instruction on how to take care of yourself when you return home.
A continuation of the process begun in Phase I, this outpatient rehabilitation begins about a week after you leave the hospital. Exercise physiologists and cardiac rehab nurses lead exercise and education sessions designed to halt or slow the advance of heart disease, return you to a normal routine, and enhance your quality of life.
The exercise program lasts from six to 12 weeks. Staff continuously monitors your heart rhythms and rates, blood pressures and levels of exertion as you exercise on stationary bikes, treadmills, recumbent bikes, and with weights.
The education portion of the program consists of individual and group classes taught by a Registered Dietitian, Exercise Physiologists and Cardiac Rehab Nurses. All cardiac rehab participants and their family members are welcome to these classes, which are on a four-week rotation and can be entered at any point in the rotation. The classes include:
This special exercise program is supervised by an exercise physiologist or cardiac rehab nurse and caters to a broad range of people, specifically those with health concerns or medical conditions such as heart and lung disease, diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, or weight problems. It is also valuable for healthy seniors, those uncomfortable exercising in a health club, those who prefer a group exercise setting, or who need individual attention.
Your first session includes a one-on-one meeting and creation of an individualized exercise program and goals. Healthy people age 40 and under may enter the program without a doctor’s referral. People over 40, with two or more risk factors for heart disease, a history of heart disease or have some other medical problem, require a doctor's referral and possibly a stress test.
Participation requires an appropriate diagnosis and physician referral.
This supervised exercise program is designed for patients recently diagnosed with heart and valve disease, obesity, peripheral artery disease, lung disease, and diabetes, and who are not eligible for the Cardiac Rehab Program.
The exercise program is overseen by exercise physiologists and cardiac rehab nurses, and includes an initial assessment, orientation to the exercise equipment, and discussion of proper exercise frequency, intensity and duration for your specific needs. The program consists of one-hour exercise sessions, daily health assessments, and group and individual education classes.
The Limb Preservation Program of Aspirus Heart & Vascular
specializes in helping treat wounds of patients who are at high risk of
amputation and diminished leg and toe function.
Do not ignore the symptoms.
With appropriate well-timed treatment, many amputations can be prevented. Waiting to see if the condition will resolve can waste valuable time, as
wounds are healed best when they are new. The most effective treatment
starts right away!
Act quickly if you experience these symptoms:
The Limb Preservation Program utilizes the latest technologies and
treatment approaches to help manage the most complex cases. You are
provided the highest quality of care and a personalized treatment plan
brought to you by a coordinated team of wound care, podiatry and
vascular surgical experts.
Call 1-800-847-LIMB (5462)
You will speak with a nurse who will complete an assessment and
assist you in appointment scheduling. You can expect your first
appointment within 5 days of calling.
Aspirus Heart & Vascular operates on the premise that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. We have harnessed the expertise of our providers, with excellent results. The following providers provide exclusive services to Aspirus Heart & Vascular:
Robert T. Brebrick, MD
Dennis J. Costa, MD
Benjamin J. Herdrich MD
Andrew Mykytsey MD
Kevin Rist, MD, PhD
J. Michael Frangiskakis, MD, PhD
Joel L. Furda, MD
Timothy P. Grady, DO
Pavel Guigauri, MD
Michael Haase, MD
Mark T. Hoffmann, MD
German Larrain, MD
Timothy N. Logemann, MD
Joshua L. Luce MD
Paul A. Luetmer, MD
Rodney R Mayhorn, MD
David K. Murdock, MD
The following UW Health physicians provide exclusive pediatric cardiology services to children with heart related conditions:
Luke Lamers, MD
Amy L. Peterson, MD