Advanced heart disease care in Middle Tennessee

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people in the U.S. The term "heart disease" refers to several types of heart conditions that include diseased vessels, structural problems and blood clots. Often, the blood vessels in the heart are narrowed or blocked, leading to heart attack, chest pain or stroke.

At TriStar Medical Group, we provide you access to expert cardiologists and heart and vascular surgeons who use leading technology to help prevent or manage your heart condition.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call (800) 242-5662.

Types of heart disease

There are several diseases and conditions that are classified as heart disease, such as:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Congenital heart abnormalities
  • Coronary artery disease (CAD)
  • Heart arrhythmia
  • Heart attack
  • Heart infections
  • Heart valve diseases

Leading risk factors for heart disease

It's important to understand what causes heart disease. It has many risk factors you are not able to control, such as race, gender and age. However, there are many more that you are able to manage to keep your chances of developing heart disease to a minimum.

When not controlled, high blood pressure can cause a heart attack because the heart works harder to pump blood, causing stress on the blood vessels and an increased risk of damage. High blood pressure is often caused by family history, aging, plaque buildup, structural damage to blood vessels or medication. Blood pressure is measured when the heart contracts (systolic) and when it relaxes (diastolic). You have high blood pressure (hypertension) when your top number (systolic) is more than 140 and your lower number (diastolic) is less than 90.

High cholesterol levels can vary for each individual depending on other risk factors. Different types of cholesterol and fats have different effects. The most commonly known types are:

  • LDL cholesterol: Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is the "bad" cholesterol. Excess LDL builds up on your arteries and leads to heart disease. The higher the level of LDL, the higher your risk for heart disease.
  • HDL cholesterol: High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is the "good" cholesterol, as it is believed to remove cholesterol from the blood. High levels of HDL in your blood may help reduce your risk of coronary artery disease. A low level can increase your risk of heart disease.
  • Triglycerides: Triglycerides are another type of fat in your bloodstream. If you have high blood triglyceride levels, you may also have a high LDL, which further increases your risk of heart disease.

For both high blood pressure and high cholesterol, healthy diet and exercise habits can be sufficient for lowering the numbers. But in some cases, these lifestyle changes must be combined by medication. Our heart care team works collaboratively to create a custom plan to keep your heart healthy.

Heart disease prevention

Unlike some heart conditions, heart disease is preventable. While there are certain risk factors you cannot control, there are many ways you can help keep your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels normal to lower your risk for disease. These include:

  • Eating a heart-healthy diet (vegetables, fruit, beans, lean meats, healthy fats)
  • Exercising regularly (30 to 60 minutes per day)
  • Getting quality rest
  • Limiting your alcohol consumption
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Not smoking or using tobacco
  • Reducing your stress levels

Treatment for blocked arteries

We use advanced diagnostic technology to track the development of plaque inside your arteries, so we can provide treatment before an intervention is necessary. However, if you require an interventional procedure, we can clear your blocked arteries through minimally invasive techniques.

How it works:

  • A local anesthetic will numb the area where your doctor will make a small incision.
  • Your doctor will insert a small tube (about the size of a pencil) through the artery to clear the blockage.
  • The delivery tube will inflate and deflate a tiny balloon to stretch the artery.
  • A mesh stent may also be inserted to hold the artery open.
  • When the artery is clear, your doctor will remove the tube.