Heart and valve care in Nashville
As you need more complex and advanced care for the health of your heart, Ascension Saint Thomas Heart in Nashville, Tennessee, is ready with treatment that is right for you:
- Experienced cardiovascular specialists who listen to your needs.
- Care teams that work together with you.
- Leading technologies and advanced treatment options.
- Connecting the dots across our health network.
- Follow-up care and rehab to get you back to your life.
Ascension Saint Thomas Heart is a national leader in minimally invasive approaches to treat different heart valve problems. Our heart valve team starts by listening to you, to better understand you and your health. Then, we work with you to create a personalized care plan that meets all of your heart care needs, medication management, including diagnostic tests and minimally invasive procedures.
When you choose Ascension Saint Thomas Heart for your care, have confidence knowing your care team is one of the most experienced teams in the country. We’ve performed more than 2,000 TAVR procedures and 600 MitraClip™ procedures since 2012. Our team of specialists at Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital West received the 2022 and 2023 Mitral Valve Repair Reference Center Award from the American Heart Association and the Mitral Foundation for excellence in mitral valve repair surgery. Ascension Saint Thomas Heart achieved the highest quality (three-star rating) designation by STS/ACC TVT Registry, a collaboration between the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the American College of Cardiology, for TAVR procedures. They have also earned a distinguished three-star rating from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) for patient care and outcomes in aortic valve replacement (AVR) combined with coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), and in isolated coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) procedures.
Understanding symptoms of heart valve disease
If you have symptoms of aortic valve disease – chest pain and feeling of tightness with activity, fatigue, shortness of breath with activity, leg swelling, lightheadedness and/or dizziness, feeling fainting with activity and rapid heartbeat – talk with a heart specialist. For severe aortic stenosis, your doctor may prescribe medicine to help manage your symptoms, but in many cases, surgery is the recommended treatment option.
Specialists in structural heart and valve disease
Heart and valve problems can lead to heart attack or progressive heart failure, as well as many other heart conditions, so it’s important to talk to your doctor about early treatment options. Whenever possible, our network of heart specialists perform cardiac procedures using minimally invasive techniques. Minimally invasive procedures may help shorten your recovery time and lower your risk of complications. Ask your doctor about your minimally invasive treatment options.
- Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR): A minimally invasive heart procedure in which your doctor uses a small catheter to replace a damaged valve with a new one. With a TAVR procedure, the hospital stay is shorter, generally 1-2 days, and the return to full activity is often quicker than open heart surgery.
- MitraClip™: During the MitraClip procedure, your heart team inserts the small clip using a thin tube that is inserted into a vein in your leg and guided to your heart. This small clip allows your mitral valve to close more completely, helping to restore normal blood flow through your heart.
- PFO and ASD/VSD closure: To help correct a flap or hole in your heart, your heart team will insert a small closure device into your heart to close the hole.
- Alcohol septal ablation: This non-surgical procedure is for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition where your heart muscle is thicker than normal. To help thin the heart muscle, your heart team will insert a small, thin tube into your artery. Then, they will inject a small amount of alcohol into the area where your heart muscle is too thick.
- Paravalvular leak closure: Your doctor uses a catheter that is inserted into your leg and is guided into your heart. Using the catheter, a closure device is placed around the leak.
- High-risk percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI): A type of angioplasty that uses a stent. During this minimally invasive procedure, an interventional cardiologist will inflate a small balloon in the narrowed portion of your artery to re-open it and restore normal blood flow. Your doctor may also insert a small stent to keep your artery open.
- Balloon aortic valvuloplasty: With this procedure, a tiny balloon is inflated in the aortic valve to try and improve blood flow. This treatment only provides temporary relief and other procedures may be necessary.
Get a second opinion from a heart specialist
If you have a new diagnosis or need a cardiac treatment plan, there’s a lot to think about when facing a cardiovascular health issue. Getting a second opinion provides more information about your condition and can also help you feel more confident in the doctor and the care plan you choose. If you’re looking for a second opinion, specialists at Ascension Saint Thomas Heart are here for you. Consider getting a second opinion if:
- Your diagnosis or prognosis is unclear. You’ve been told you have a rare or life-threatening condition.
- You would like to explore more treatment options.
- Your treatment options are costly or risky.
- You want to hear an opinion from another specialist.
- You want to find a new doctor with a new care plan.
- Your insurance requires a second opinion.
Heart care that focuses on the whole you
Your doctors, specialists and care team collaborate, working together for you and with you. Your doctor listens to understand your healthcare needs, new symptoms and goals. And all your caregivers communicate and collaborate as a team. At Ascension Saint Thomas Heart, your care team supports you before, during and after your heart valve surgery, to help you return to the regular daily activities and those you love. Your doctor will work with you to monitor your heart health over time, including cardiac rehab and medication management.