Heart Care

West Tennessee's Premier Provider of Heart Care

Accredited Chest Pain Center

There is no cure for heart disease. All therapy is aimed at reducing the chances of future heart damage and improving quality of life. If you are diagnosed with heart disease, your doctor will choose the treatment that is best for you. Some treatment involves procedures, such as an angioplasty (or "balloon" procedure). Other treatment may be medical or surgical. Learn about our Cardiothoracic Surgery Center team

Cardiac Catheterization

When needed, a more comprehensive test may be performed involving a very small internal catheter and contrast dye which provides an accurate x-ray moving picture of blocked vessels affecting the heart. This test can be performed from a blood vessel in the groin (femoral approach) or arm (radial approach) through the aorta into the heart. Cardiovascular surgeons and a surgery suite are readily available if the need arises for emergency cardiac surgery. Heart surgeons, together with expert technologists, perform approximately 6,000 cardiac catheterizations each year as well as 1,100 balloon angioplasties. Since the labs opened, we have performed over 40,000 procedures. This includes more than 5,500 angioplasties (balloon surgeries), the placement of over 1,200 intracoronary stents and many other types of interventional procedures.

Radial Artery Catheterization & Radial Lounge

Radial artery for cardiac catheterization procedure is the use of the radial artery in the wrist as the entry point for the catheter. The cardiologist threads the thin catheter through the body’s network of arteries in the arm and into the chest, eventually reaching the heart. Doctors may also call this transradial access, the transradial approach or transradial angioplasty. The radial artery approach is safer for patients as it is associated with less bleeding and fewer complications compared to the femoral approach.
Before the procedure, the blood supply of the radial artery of the patient’s hand is assessed and other qualifying tests might be performed. There are two arteries (radial artery and ulnar artery) that supply blood to the hand. The catheterization procedure is safe to proceed, only if both arteries are working properly. This approach is not appropriate for patients who are extremely thin or have small or twisted arteries.
Potential Advantages to the Radial Artery Catheterization

  • Minimal bleeding
  • Less risk of nerve injury
  • Lower rate of complications
  • Faster recovery

Steps involved in radial artery catheterization:

  • A local anesthetic will be injected to the wrist to numb the area.
  • A small tube (sheath) is inserted into the radial artery.
  • Medications are given to help relax the radial artery.
  • Blood thinners are also administered to help prevent the formation of blood clots within the artery.
  • Then the catheters are moved through the tube and guided to the heart.

After the completion of the procedure, the catheters and tubes are removed from the radial artery.
The patient will then recover in the radial lounge until released. Often this recovery is 2-3 hours. The patient is advised to wear a compression device on the wrist, usually for 2 hours following the procedure. Patients are able to sit up and eat after the procedure and may resume their normal activities after 48 hours.
As with any medical procedure, there are some risks and complications. Possible risks and complications associated with radial artery catheterization include:

  • Although rare, spasms of the muscles lining the wall of the radial artery can occur.
  • Occlusion of the radial artery caused by blood clot formation within the artery may occur. This is usually harmless and may be prevented by using blood thinners.

Your doctor will determine if this is the right approach for your heart testing needs.
To learn more about West Tennessee Heart and Vascular Center, visit our Areas of Expertise and see our List of Services.

Cardiovascular Surgery

The cardiovascular surgeons provide quality service and expertise in Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery; Valve Repair or Replacement, and Minimally Invasive Coronary Artery Bypass Procedures (MIDCAB & Heart Ports). Since 1983, we have performed over 15,000 open heart procedures. The cardiac surgery team includes anesthesiologists, physician assistants, nurse specialists, perfusionists and technologists. The collaborative effort by the cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, anesthesiologists and other highly trained support personnel, place the Jackson-Madison County General Hospital among the top of the nation's hospitals performing coronary artery bypass surgery.

In addition to the treatment your doctor prescribes, you will be asked to change to a healthier lifestyle. Changing your lifestyle is a very important part of your treatment for heart disease.

Our 148-Bed Heart Care Area Includes:

  • Chest Pain Care with Accreditation plus PCI Coronary care unit (CCU) with a total of 18 beds
  • Three progressive coronary care (telemetry) units (total of 89 beds)
  • A 12-bed cardiovascular surgical intensive care unit (CVICU)
  • A 29-bed surgical progressive care (telemetry) unit
  • Four operating suites dedicated to cardiovascular surgery
  • Six Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories
  • Post Catheterization Outpatient Recovery Unit (6 beds)
  • Special Procedures Lab (Swans-Ganz; Lifeports; temporary pacemakers; chest tubes; nerve block)
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation Facility with indoor walking track and exercise center
  • Radial Artery Catheterization Radial Lounge
  • Echocardiography (M-Mode; 2-D echocardiography; Doppler-Peripheral Vascular; Color Flow; Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE); Stress Echo)
  • Mobile Echo Services available to area hospitals/clinics to provide the following services: M-Mode; 2-D echocardiography; Doppler-Peripheral Vascular studies; Color Flow and Diagnostic Testing of the Heart
  • The full range of non-invasive and invasive cardiovascular services provided by the West Tennessee Heart and Vascular Center enables its physicians to identify problems and recommend the most appropriate and expedient course of treatment.

West Tennessee Healthcare (WTH) does not exclude, deny benefits to, or otherwise discriminate against any person on the grounds of race, color, national origin, age, religion, disability, Limited English Proficiency or sex, including discrimination based on gender identity, sexual orientation, sex stereotyping or pregnancy in admission to, participation in, or receipt of the services and benefits under any of its programs and activities, whether carried out by WTH directly or through a contractor or any other entity with which WTH arranges to carry out its programs and activities.

For further information about this policy, contact Amy Garner (731) 541-9914.