Terrebonne General Medical Center’s Structural Heart Program Boasts Breakthroughs, Results

HOUMA, LA – The Structural Heart Program at Terrebonne General Medical Center (TGMC) provides innovative treatment options for patients with valve disorders and structural heart defects.

         The only program of its kind in the region, its medical team is comprised of interventional cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons who use minimally-invasive catheterization procedures to treat cardiovascular disease and pioneer innovative techniques to treat life-threatening structural heart disorders.

         TGMC reps said patient Mike Muntz, 56, was experiencing symptoms of fatigue, shortness of breath and swelling. Diagnostic testing showed his heart valve was not functioning properly. Muntz previously had open heart surgery and was on immunosuppressant medications from a kidney and pancreas transplant in 1999 as well. Therefore, he was considered high-risk for open heart surgery with a risk ten times greater than the average patient.

         Doctors agreed that he was a candidate for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), a less-invasive approach to aortic valve implantation for patients considered high-risk or inoperable for traditional open-heart valve surgery. A team of cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons perform the procedure, which treats severe aortic stenosis by using a catheter-based process to implant an artificial valve.

         Aortic stenosis occurs when aortic valve does not open properly, hindering the heart from pumping blood throughout the body. If left untreated, the aortic valve creates additional work for the heart, leading to heart failure and finally death. Symptoms of aortic stenosis include chest pain, fatigue, feeling faint, passing out, and shortness of breath with activity.  It is diagnosed with an exam and cardiac ultrasound.

         Muntz said his recovery time was quick—only a day and a half—compared to a much longer recovery time for open heart surgery. Following the procedure, he said he felt immediate results and since that time, he said his quality of life has improved tremendously.

         TGMC reps said the goal of their multidisciplinary Structural Heart Program is to work with patients to determine the best treatment for their condition and care.

         Structural heart and valve conditions include:


• Mitral Valve Stenosis

• Aortic Stenosis

• Pulmonary Valve Stenosis and Regurgitation

• Patent Foramen Ovales

• Paravalvular Leaks – Aortic & Mitral

• Congenital Heart Defects, such as Patent Ductus Arteriosus, Atrial Septal Defect & Ventricular Septal Defect

• Congestive Heart Failure

• Degenerative Aortic Bioprosthesis


         Treatments and services include:


• Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement

• Balloon Valvuloplasty

• Mitral Valve Repair with the MitraClip

• Septal Defect and Patent Foramen Ovale Closure

• Left Atrial Appendage Closure and Ligation

• Coronary Fistula Closure

• Transcatheter Paravalvular Leak Closure


         The physician team for the Structural Heart Program includes:


• Peter Fail, MD

Interventional Cardiologist

Director of Cardiac Catheterization Lab and Interventional Research Cardiovascular Institute of the South


• Edgar Feinberg, MD

Cardiovascular Surgeon

Cardiovascular Clinic of Houma


• Karen Thompson, DO

Cardiovascular Surgeon

Cardiovascular Clinic of Houma


• Ben Adams, DO

Cardiac Anesthesiologist

Terrebonne General Medical Center


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