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Electrophysiology and Pacing

Pediatric Heart Care

Electrophysiology and Pacing

The Pediatric Cardiology Electrophysiology team at American Family Children's Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, specializes in the treatment of abnormal heart rhythms in children and in patient with congenital heart disease.

Although rare, heart arrhythmias in children can be troublesome and sometime lethal if not treated properly.

At American Family Children's Hospital, a pediatric electrophysiology (EP) and pacing program provides referring physicians and parents a comprehensive program for evaluation and treatment of children with heart rhythm abnormalities. The program includes providing EP study and ablation as a curative option for children with abnormally fast heart rhythms such as Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT) or Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome.

Palpitations, light-headedness, shortness of breath, chest discomfort and fainting are a few of the typical symptoms children may experience with arrhythmias that cause the heart to pump abnormally. Highly trained sub-specialists at American Family Children’s Hospital are available for children with heart rhythm abnormalities. We also specialize in the care of adults with abnormal heart rhythms and congenital heart disease.

The goal of the American Family Children's Hospital Pediatric Electrophysiology program is to provide care that maximizes both safety and effectiveness while providing the most advanced care for young patients and adults with congenital heart disease.

Our Physicians

Drs. Maginot and Von Bergen are trained to care for children with abnormal heart rhythms. Dr. Maginot specializes in management of children with inherited conditions of abnormal heart rhythm such as Long-QT syndromes (LQTS) and CPVT. Dr. Von Bergen specializes in performing interventional procedures, including electrophysiologic studies and ablations, and pacemaker and ICD implantation.

Our Nurse Practitioners

  • Jayme Frank, APNP: Jayme works in collaboration with our physicians to care for children with heart rhythm abnormalities, including inherited arrhythmias. She specializes in caring for children and adults with congenital heart disease who have pacemakers and ICDs.
  • Erin Marriott, APNP: Erin specializes in treating patients with syncope (fainting)

Procedures

  • Treadmill testing: Exercise testing on a treadmill to diagnosis arrhythmias, evaluate chest pain or determine exercise ability. Video
  • Tilt testing: For evaluation of fainting
  • Electrophysiologic studies (with ablation): For the diagnosis and treatment of abnormal heart rhythm
  • Pacemaker implantation: For the treatment of slow heart rates
  • Pacemaker and ICD function monitoring, programming and management Video
  • Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) implantation: For the treatment of potentially life threatening fast abnormal heart rhythms
  • Treatment of arrhythmias in patients with complex congenital heart disease: The treatment abnormal heart rhythms in children and adults with a history of heart disease or heart surgery.

Areas of Expertise

  • Radiation-free ablation procedures: American Family Children's Hospital is one of the few centers in the nation to perform electrophysiology procedures (ablations) without the use of radiation in the majority of their patients. These procedures cure patients of their abnormal heart rhythm. Dr. Von Bergen has been involved with training other physicians who wish to learn the technique of radiation-free procedures.
  • Cryothermal ablation: American Family Children's Hospital uses cryotherapy (cold therapy in place of heat therapy) in patients with arrhythmias which have a higher risk of developing a complication when using heat therapy. Cryotherapy, though it takes longer, is safer in select cases.
  • Radiation-free procedures: American Family Children's Hospital uses 3D mapping tools to accurately map and identify arrhythmias while decreasing or eliminating radiation. We feel this improves accuracy and safety in comparison to the traditional radiation guided technique. Drs. Von Bergen use this with almost every case to optimize the likelihood of success and limit the risk of recurrence, eliminating the need to use radiation in the majority of the procedures.

Pacemaker and Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) Implantation

Drs. Maginot and Von Bergen work closely with the cardiothoracic surgeons to implant pacemakers and ICDs in infants and young children. In larger patients, Dr. Von Bergen implants devices in children with structurally normal hearts, as well as in children and adults with complex congenital heart disease and history of major cardiac surgery.

Volume of Procedures

Dr. Von Bergen performs the majority of his procedures at American Family Children's Hospital, but has also traveled to hospitals in Iowa, South Dakota and Nevada, which provides him with one of the higher procedural volumes among pediatric electrophysiologists.

Resources