Novant Health Heart & Vascular Institute interventional cardiologists lean into multidisciplinary approaches, minimally invasive procedures and technology to ensure patients receive next-level care. The team offers multidisciplinary care across a full vascular service line that encompasses cardiac catheterizations, coronary angiography, critical limb ischemia and limb salvage treatment, pulmonary embolism treatment and deep vein thrombosis treatment.

Dr. Sunil Iyer

"It would be important to be referred to an interventional cardiologist if patients have specific questions they would like answered about a potential procedure," said Sunil Iyer, MD, interventional cardiologist at Novant Health Heart & Vascular Institute in Wilmington.

The team efficiently processes referrals from Charlotte to the coast, seeing a mixture of general cardiology problems, as well as patients who need left heart catheterizations for angina or chest pain, or for newly diagnosed heart failure to rule out coronary disease as an etiology. The most common procedures they provide are left heart catheterizations, coronary balloon angioplasty and/or coronary stents.

We work closely with primary care physicians to provide expertise as well as our general cardiology colleagues about helping plan and time interventional procedures. More importantly, we help manage medical therapy to prevent the need for major procedures, ideally."

Gregory Means, MD, interventional cardiologist at Novant Health Cardiology - Kimel Park Main

Patient referrals are expedited as needed.

Dr. Gregory Means

While Novant Health physicians care for a variety of patients with any kind of cardiac symptom or need for cardiac prevention, Dr. Gregory Means said, "We especially expedite seeing patients with concerning chest pain or shortness of breath symptoms who may need to have a cardiac procedure or to have cardiac chest pain or coronary artery disease ruled out or evaluated."

Novant Health Heart & Vascular Institute physicians use a variety of minimally invasive techniques when possible.

"Our structural cardiologists have had major advances in cardiology offering relatively new technologies," Dr. Iyer said. That includes:

  • Minimally invasive transcatheter aortic valve replacements (TAVR) for patients with severe aortic stenosis
  • MitraClip, a minimally invasive procedure for mitral regurgitation in specific patients
  • Left atrial appendage closure devices, which are implanted minimally invasively so that patients with atrial fibrillation may be able to come off anticoagulants such as coumadin, Eliquis and Xarelto
  • A minimally invasive approach to atrial septal defect closures

Novant Health interventional cardiologists stay up to date with newer techniques and devices.

For coronary artery disease, there are newer techniques including drills, lasers and lithotripsy balloons to help modify severely thickened or calcified arteries. Additionally, the field of coronary percutaneous interventions with stents has greatly advanced over the years with equipment getting much smaller and overall more effective.

"An example is that it is now commonplace for these procedures to be performed through the radial artery in the wrist instead of the common femoral artery in the groin, which has led to less bleeding issues and can be overall easier for the patient," Dr. Iyer said.

Additionally, thrombectomy devices and thrombolytic therapies are implemented by the team to treat deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

Chokkalingam Mani_Bhalaghuru_Head_web
Dr. Bhalaghuru Chokkalingam Mani

"For example, if we have someone with a massive amount of deep vein thrombosis and their entire leg is swollen, clot-busting medicine in addition to clot removal devices can be used by way of catheters to clean that out," said Bhalaghuru Chokkalingam Mani, MD, interventional cardiologist at Novant Health Heart & Vascular Institute - Matthews.

Interventional cardiologists work within a multidisciplinary team.

The Novant Health team provides multidisciplinary care on multiple levels. This can be as simple (yet significant) as the communication between the general cardiologist who evaluates and refers a patient for a coronary stent procedure, and the interventionalist who performs the procedure.

The multidisciplinary approach can also be more complex. "In patients who are too high-risk for surgery, we have a multidisciplinary team (heart team) including the heart surgeon, primary cardiology team, and interventional cardiologist that review how to best revascularize these patients," Dr. Iyer said. "We also use a heart team approach to patients who need evaluation for aortic stenosis and therefore aortic valve replacement. This discussion takes place between a structural interventional cardiologist and a heart surgeon as to the best way to perform the procedure for a safe and durable result."

Interventional cardiologists strive for safety and excellent outcomes.

"With the technology and capabilities we have at Novant Health," Dr. Mani said, "we can see incredible change in patients day-to-day. We're able to provide this incredible, state-of-the-art care with the resources we have."

To work with interventional cardiologists at Novant Health Heart & Vascular Institute, or to refer a patient, please call:

Greater Charlotte region: 704-343-9800

  • Bhalaghuru Chokkalingam Mani, MD

Greater Winston-Salem region: 336-277-2000

  • Gregory Means, MD

Greater Wilmington region: 910-662-9500

  • Sunil Iyer, MD