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Advanced cardiac and vascular

In addition to open-heart surgery, The Heart & Vascular Center at Cookeville Regional provides the full range of procedures, treatments and services necessary for the most advanced care possible.


Cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, specially trained anesthesiologists, experts in perfusion (the delicate operation of the heart-lung machine), specially trained nursing staff and other support staff are always on-call and work together as a highly skilled and committed team.


Cookeville Regional Medical Center is the Upper Cumberland’s only accredited chest pain center with PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention, commonly known as coronary angioplasty).


Cookeville Regional Medical Center has implemented a new technology for heart failure treatment. The CardioMEMS system is implanted directly into the pulmonary artery to wirelessly measure and monitor pulmonary artery pressure and heart rate. It will indicate worsening heart failure before symptoms occur. Then the doctor can make adjustments in medication if needed.


Cookeville Regional led an effort in the region around the treatment of heart attack patients that is ahead of most other communities in the nation. The cardiologists have worked diligently with area EMS teams on a protocol called “Code STEMI” that allows an EMS team to diagnose a STEMI heart attack in the field, and thereby initiate the “Code STEMI” protocol. When initiated, the “Code STEMI” protocol calls for the cardiac catheterization team and interventional cardiologist to be waiting and ready to treat as soon as the patient arrives. With this process in place, the Heart and Vascular Center has achieved an average of 56 minutes for their door-to-balloon time — well below the recognized gold standard of 90 minutes.


One of many diagnostic studies available at Cookeville Regional for heart patients, cardiac catheterization allows your cardiologist to see how your arteries function. X-ray technology is utilized in this highly effective procedure.


Often referred to as “balloon surgery,” angioplasty is an invasive method of widening blocked arteries. To open or unclog a narrowed coronary artery, a “balloon”-tipped catheter is inflated to increase the opening and improve blood flow. In some cases, a wire mesh stent is also used to reinforce the vessel.


For hearts that require extensive care, cardiovascular surgery or “open-heart” surgery is available, including off pump coronary artery bypass surgery (beating heart surgery). Valve repair and replacement surgery is also performed, as well as robotic/minimally invasive heart surgery. Our open-heart surgery suites are fully equipped with the latest technology available.

Telehealth appointments are also available. Call 931-783-4269 for information.


Cookeville Regional’s structural heart program is the only one of its kind in the Upper Cumberland with a team of interventional cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and dedicated clinical support staff specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the valves and other vital structures of the heart. This program expands the services offered through the Heart and Vascular Center, and thus, allows residents of the region to remain close to home for more specialized care.


Cookeville Regional offers cardiac mapping, cardioversion, radio frequency catheter ablation, cryoablation, ICD implantation, pacemaker insertion, defibrillator threshold testing and transesophageal echocardiogram to treat heart arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation and other rhythm disturbances.

  • Pacemaker implantation: Used in certain heart conditions, a battery-operated electronic device is implanted beneath the skin to stimulate the heart to beat normally.

  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) implantation.

  • Hypothermia protocol: Designed to help preserve optimal organ function in cardiac arrest patients by rapidly cooling the body for 24 hours to help prevent further injury, and then slowly, over 16 hours, bringing it back up to normal temperature.


To determine the rate of beats and limits upon the heart, stress testing may be undertaken with either a treadmill or medication.


Cookeville Regional offers specialty trained physicians, nursing staff and other health professionals in cardiac care for patients in the hospital, as well as a cardiovascular intensive care unit and a cardiac step-down unit designed specifically for heart patients.


Our cardiac rehab facility utilizes the most up-to-date equipment, methods and counsel. Often a whole family is impacted and we give them special attention as well.


The Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) is a 16-bed unit for patients recovering from heart, lung and vascular surgeries.

CVICU is considered the “recovery room” immediately after heart surgery. Our surgeons usually make very early morning rounds, allowing them to start their scheduled surgeries for the day. Thus, they rely on our staff to keep the family members updated on the patient’s condition, progress and plan of care for the day while in CVICU.

During this time, we stabilize and attempt to remove the patient’s breathing tube prior to family visits. The family members’ first visit may be from one to three hours after the patient arrives in CVICU.

Our staff will keep you updated during this time, and we appreciate your patience. Also, the status of other patients in the CVICU may sometimes alter visitation times.

Expect to see several tubes, several bags of fluid hanging on a pole, a bandage wrap around a wrist, and several wires connected to the patient. Also, you can expect to see a fair amount of puffiness and paleness.

This is all normal and usually improves within 24 hours.

After vascular procedures

You can expect different things depending on the type of surgery performed. These patients generally require less invasive monitoring equipment. Expect to see small drains, bags of fluid, a bandage wrap around the wrist, and wires connected to the patient.

Patients that have had abdominal surgery (e.g. aneurysm) require somewhat more monitoring equipment, similar to a heart surgery patient.

You can expect to see several bags of fluid hanging on a pole, a bandage wrap around the wrist, and several wires connected to the patient. Also, expect to see a fair amount of puffiness and paleness. This usually improves within 24 hours.

It can be overwhelming the first time you visit. So, please feel free to ask the nurse to explain what you see, the progress of recovery and the plan of care for the day. The more you know, the less apprehensive the next visit will be for you.

After lung surgery

Patients that have had lung surgery may or may not require a breathing tube while in CVICU. Expect to see drainage tubes, bags of fluid on a pole, and wires connected to the patient.

Visiting hours and contact

CVICU waiting room:

  • 7:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • 4 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Per nurse discretion.
  • Visitors will be limited to 3 people.
  • No children under 12 years of age
  • Please be aware that visitation may need to be adjusted based on patient condition.
  • We will do our very best to accommodate visitation, but the patient’s care must take priority.
  • Families are welcome to stay in the CVICU waiting room between visiting hours.
  • Fresh flowers are not allowed in patient rooms in the CVICU.