Advanced heart failure clinic in Nashville, Tennessee

The advanced heart failure clinic at TriStar Centennial offers a comprehensive heart disease management program. This includes customized patient education and individualized treatment approaches for patients managing congestive heart failure. It also includes our team of cardiologists and heart failure specialists in Nashville, which provides patients with acute, inpatient heart care and offers access to advanced therapies and clinical trials.

For a free physician referral or more information, call TriStar MedLine® at (800) 242-5662.

We are recognized by The Joint Commission for our commitment to meeting stringent criteria for healthcare quality and safety in disease-specific care.

Understanding 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 the 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.

Signs of heart failure

If you have heart failure, it is likely you experience:

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

If left untreated, the lack of adequate blood flow causes the organs to fail. This results in numerous medical complications that can reduce a person's quality of life.

Heart failure treatment

Our mechanical circulatory support program includes board-certified heart failure specialists, cardiovascular surgeons, advanced practice providers and program coordinators. This team is dedicated to helping patients with advanced cardiovascular disease.

Patients with end-stage heart failure are evaluated for eligibility to receive devices or cardiac (heart) transplantation. Other potential treatments for heart failure include:

  • CardioMEMS: Measures and monitors the pressure in the pulmonary artery and heart rate in certain heart failure patients.
  • Inotropes: Select patients may take these intravenous medications to help alleviate symptoms and stabilize heart function. Prolonged use requires insertion of an indwelling intravenous line and wearable pump.
  • Left atrial appendage closure (LAAC): A device that reduces stroke risk in people with atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem. Different from oral blood thinners, LAAC is a permanent implant that closes off a part of the heart where blood clots commonly form.
  • Palliative care and hospice: our hospital provides compassionate care to make patients feel as comfortable as possible during heart failure care.
  • Transcatheter mitral valve repair: A device used to treat mitral valve regurgitation (leaky mitral valve) for individuals who should not have open-heart surgery. It is implanted via a catheter technique 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.

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. It may also be recommended after heart surgery as a method of recovery.

Left ventricular assist device (LVAD)

An LVAD is a mechanical device that circulates blood through the body when the heart is too weak to pump blood properly on its own. Designed to supplement the pumping function of the heart, the LVAD is surgically implanted inside the chest cavity.

Patients with advanced heart failure who have exhausted medical therapies may be eligible to receive an LVAD. The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association recommend this therapy as a viable treatment option. Clinical studies have shown patients treated with LVAD can live longer and enjoy an improved quality of life compared to medication management alone.

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 the failing heart, lungs or both to allow a patient to recover from a potentially reversible, severe critical illness.

At TriStar Centennial, we have used this technology to save the lives of many patients. It can also be used to help with other conditions, such as:

  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
  • Cardiogenic shock
  • Severe refractory asthma
  • Massive pulmonary embolism
  • Accidental hypothermia, drowning or poisoning

Our comprehensive team includes ECMO physicians, cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, intensivists, perfusionists and ECMO specialists. They are all dedicated to caring for these types of patients.

If you are interested in learning more about the procedure and scheduling an appointment, please call TriStar Centennial's ECMO hotline at (833) 867-4625.

Finding our heart failure clinic

The advanced heart failure clinic is located within the heart and vascular department on the TriStar Centennial campus.

We offer same-day appointments Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm. We also provide 24/7 patient support services for access to a medical team after standard business hours for emergency care at TriStar Centennial.