Dr. Charles Lanzarotti, cardiac electrophysiologist, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

Dr. Charles Lanzarotti was the first doctor in Wisconsin to offer cryoballoon treatment for patients suffering from symptomatic paroxysmal atrial fibrillation.

Atrial fibrillation is the most common and one of the most undertreated heart rhythm disorders in the U.S.

Dave Zabel, a 54-year-old patient from Franklin, was one of the first treated with this technology.

“Prior to the procedure, (Zabel) was in and out of the hospital every couple of months,” said Dan Mattes, president of Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare’s central market, who nominated Lanzarotti for a Health Care Hero Award. “Dr. Lanzarotti’s innovative procedure has dramatically improved the quality of Dave’s life.”

Grace Palmer is another patient who has benefitted from Lanzarotti’s work. Lanzarotti began the state’s first comprehensive program dedicated to syncope, or fainting due to hypertension and temporary inadequate communication between the heart and brain. Palmer, then 65, noticed she had been getting dizzy and sometimes blacked out without explanation. She was scared to drive, fearing she would faint behind the wheel and she wasn’t comfortable caring for her grandchildren.

Lanzarotti diagnosed Palmer with syncope and implanted a pacemaker in her.

“Today, Grace says she has her life back,” Mattes said.

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