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Meghana R. Kunkala Helder

Meghana R. Kunkala Helder, MD

Cardiology, Cardiovascular/Thoracic Surgery, and Cardiovascular Disease

"Every patient deserves the highest level of care no matter where they live. Care should be patient driven, and my job is not only to recommend care but to inform patients so they can make their own best decision."

Office Information

About Me

If you need surgery for heart or aortic disease, trust Meghana Ram Kunkala Helder, MD to be there for you at North Central Heart – a division of Avera Heart Hospital – in Sioux Falls, SD. From adult open heart surgery to endovascular valves and aortic repair, Dr. Helder provides expert surgical care for both the heart and thoracic aorta. Her surgical services are offered to support health and healing for a variety of heart conditions.

Compassionate, Expert Heart Care

Dr. Helder is dedicated to treating patients using the latest technology and treatments for heart disease. She helps treat a spectrum of heart diseases including coronary artery disease, mitral valve disease, tricuspid valve disease, hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy, aortic valve disease with the aid of open and transcatheter modalities—as well as thoracic aortic aneurysm disease, both open and endovascularly.

The operations she offers include:

  • Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG)
  • Valve replacements and repair
  • Septal myectomy
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)
  • Thoracic endovascular aneurysm repair (TEVAR)

“Moderation is key, moderate your food and drinks and add exercise for a heart healthy life,” says Dr. Helder. She was inspired to become a surgeon by seeing the benefit of surgery for one of her family members. This interest in surgery led to her witnessing an open heart operation in junior high school which pushed her to become a cardiovascular surgeon. She has presented on various cardiovascular topics at national and international meetings and has been published in high-impact peer-reviewed journals.

Active Lifestyle

In her free time, Dr. Helder loves spending time with her husband, daughter and family. She enjoys cooking, gardening and traveling. She speaks Telugu, and is originally from India.



St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, Medical School


Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, Integrated Cardiothoracic Surgery


Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Rochester, MN, Surgery, Cardiovascular & Thoracic

Professional Memberships

  • American Medical Association
  • American College of Surgeons
  • Society of Thoracic Surgeons
  • Women in Thoracic Surgery


  • American Board of Surgery

This directory contains information about the provider members of Independent Health Care Associates, Avera Health and all Avera entities, members of the Avera Medical Group, and employed select providers with Avera McKennan, Sioux Falls, SD and Avera Marshall, Marshall, MN and physicians with hospital privileges at Avera St. Luke's, Aberdeen, SD; Avera Sacred Heart, Yankton, SD; Avera Queen of Peace, Mitchell, SD; Avera St. Mary's, Pierre, SD.

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