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Heart failure

Heart failure is an indication that the heart is no longer working at its full potential. The heart is unable to pump blood as well as normal, which prevents the heart from receiving all the blood and oxygen it requires. Lifestyle changes and medication are popular treatment plans to combat heart failure.

Decorative

Advanced heart failure clinic in Nashville, Tennessee

The heart failure clinic at TriStar Health's hospital, TriStar Centennial Medical Center, offers complete heart disease management.

Through this clinic, you have access to education, inpatient heart care, emergency services, advanced therapies and clinical trials. We also welcome same-day weekday appointments.

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Signs of congestive heart failure

Congestive heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition that develops when the heart muscle weakens and is unable to pump a sufficient amount of blood throughout your body. Heart failure worsens over time and is typically caused by persistent high blood pressure, heart attack, valve disease and other forms of heart disease or birth abnormalities. If left untreated, the lack of adequate blood flow can cause organ failure, so it is important to take action if you experience any of the following:

  • Coughing and wheezing
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath, especially when lying down
  • Swelling in the feet, ankles and legs
  • Weight gain from fluid buildup

Specialty heart failure treatments

From implantable devices to medications to palliative care, we are prepared to to treat your congestive heart failure at any stage of life.

Services we provide

No matter the severity of your condition, we offer a variety of heart failure treatments, including:

Pulmonary artery pressure monitoring

Consisting of a small sensor the size of a paper clip, the top-of-the-line pressure-sensing system we use is implanted directly into your pulmonary artery to offer real-time measurements of blood flow pressure and heart rate, early indicators of worsening heart failure. Access to this data allows for a heightened awareness of factors affecting your health, as well as ample time to address them with measures such as medication. Weight and blood pressure analysis traditionally leave too little time to respond before hospitalization becomes necessary, so this type of monitoring system can be extremely beneficial.

Cardiac therapy

Patients can also enroll in cardiac rehabilitation to help with heart failure management. Cardiac rehabilitation is a supervised exercise program that can help stabilize, slow or even reverse the progression of heart failure, particularly after a heart surgery such as stenting. Our program is broken down into three phases, with each designed to help you in various stages of recovery: inpatient, outpatient and home health.

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)

ECMO is a form of partial cardiopulmonary bypass that can be used for extended periods in the intensive care unit (ICU). ECMO can temporarily replace the function of a failing heart, lungs or both to allow you to recover from a potentially reversible, severe critical illness. It can also be used to help with other conditions, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), cardiogenic shock, massive pulmonary embolism, severe refractory asthma or accidental hypothermia, drowning and poisoning.

Inotropes

Inotropes are intravenous medications that change the force of your heart’s contractions to alleviate symptoms and stabilize function. There are two kinds of inotropes, positive inotropes and negative inotropes. Positive inotropes strengthen your heart's contractions so it can pump more blood with fewer heartbeats, typically useful for patients with congestive heart failure, or who have recently had a heart attack or heart surgery. Negative inotropes slow your heart rate and weaken its contractions, useful when treating high blood pressure, chronic heart failure, heart arrhythmias and angina.

Left atrial appendage closure implant (LAAC)

LAAC implants are devices that help reduce stroke risk in patients with atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve issue. Different from oral blood thinners, for patients looking for nonpharmaceutical options for combatting heart complications, LAAC implants are permanent fixtures that close off a part of the heart where blood clots commonly form. During the procedure, a small catheter is inserted into the femoral vein in your leg and is directed to the heart. Once the catheter is in the left atrium, the electrophysiologist releases the implant, which spreads out like a balloon and seals the opening of the LAA.

Left ventricular assist device (LVAD)

An LVAD is a mechanical device that circulates blood through the body when your heart is too weak to pump blood properly on its own. Designed to supplement the pumping function of your heart, the LVAD is surgically implanted inside your chest cavity. If you are experiencing advanced heart failure and have exhausted medical therapies, you may be eligible to receive an LVAD. Clinical studies have shown patients treated with LVAD can live longer and enjoy an improved quality of life compared to medication management alone.

Transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVR)

If your health is in a place where you would not be an ideal candidate for open surgery, TMVR has proven an effective heart failure treatment, particularly for those experiencing mitral valve regurgitation, where the mitral valve doesn't close properly. Accomplished via an implant, TMVR is a cardiac catheterization procedure and involves “clipping” together the anterior and posterior mitral valve leaflets. The valve continues to open/close on either side of the clip and reduces the amount of blood flowing back into the left atrium.

Palliative care and hospice

If you or a family member have gotten to a place where all medical options have been exhausted, our hospital provides compassionate care to make you feel as comfortable as possible during heart failure care. Palliative care optimizes quality of life and mitigates suffering for those whose conditions have reached critical levels, and we are proud to serve you during those difficult times.

Thrive Blog

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