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Knapp Medical Center enhances specialized facility for
diagnosis and treatment of patients with heart problems

Weslaco – Knapp Medical Center has upgraded its cardiac catheterization laboratory (“cath lab” for short) for the diagnosis and treatment of patients with cardiovascular disease.

“We are enthusiastic about providing a higher level of care for our community,” says Dr. Juan Joel Garza, Cardiologist, who serves as medical director for Knapp Cardiology Services and the Knapp Cath Lab. “The improved cath lab at Knapp Medical Center allows us to care for a wider variety of heart issues in our patients and is a great example of the continuous improvements being made at our hospital. Mid-Valley residents can now receive more life-saving procedures close to home. When every minute matters, Knapp has the capability to care for them.”

Cardiologists are using the enhanced catheterization lab for left heart catheterization, peripheral vascular procedures, placement of pacemakers, and certain interventional cases.

In left heart catheterization, the physician inserts a thin flexible tube, called a catheter, to check for blockages in the patient’s arteries.

Peripheral angioplasty is a procedure to treat peripheral artery disease in patients whose legs and feet are not receiving enough blood. A catheter is placed into an artery in the leg, then the physician uses the catheter to open blockages and increase the flow of blood to the legs and feet.

Dr. Garza has nearly 20 years of clinical experience in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. He is board certified in Cardiovascular Disease and Internal Medicine.

Dr. Garza completed a cardiology fellowship, interventional cardiology fellowship and internal medicine residency at Baylor Scott & White Health, in Temple, Texas. He earned a Doctorate of Medicine Degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and a Bachelor’s Degree from Texas A&M University. Dr. Garza is a Valley native, originally from Pharr, who lives in Weslaco with his wife Xenia and four children.

Patients can receive care from Dr. Garza and the experienced team of cardiologists who staff the South Heart Clinic in Weslaco and Harlingen. These additional cardiologists who serve on the Knapp medical staff include Dr. Danielle Stone, Dr. Michael Balderas, Dr. Mohammad Alasaad, Dr. Hugo Blake, Dr. Michael Evans, Dr. Eduardo Flores, Dr. Shereef Hilmy, and Dr. David Yardley. The team also boasts an electrophysiology specialist, Dr. Frank Mazzola, who performs specialized pacemaker implant procedures, along with several of the other cardiologists.

As part of their expanded cardiology services, Knapp Medical Center will continue to offer a “Heart Saver” CT scan for a special cash price of $50 for Mid-Valley residents who would like to determine if they may be at risk for heart disease. The procedure is a CT scan which can indicate calcium or plaque build-up inside the coronary arteries. If the patient is at risk for heart disease, he or she is encouraged to work with their physician on taking steps to reduce the risk and control cholesterol and / or high blood pressure.

Mid-Valley patients are encouraged to consult with their physician throughout the year on ways to avoid potentially life-threatening heart attacks and stroke. Patients who need to see a specialist can reach the South Heart Clinic at 956-968-6430. Those who would like to schedule an appointment for a $50 Heart Saver CT scan may call the Knapp Medical Center Radiology and Cardiology Services Department at (956) 969-5176.