For many patients, cardiac catheterization can be performed through the radial artery in the wrist, instead of using an artery in the groin. The femoral artery in the groin has been traditionally used because it is a larger artery that allows for a larger, more easily maneuvered catheter.
Your physician will conduct a non-invasive test in the catheterization lab to be sure that there is sufficient collateral blood flow to the hand. If this test is normal, the physician can then access the same coronary arteries through the wrist as during a femoral catheterization procedure. If the patient's condition indicates a need for a stent, this can be done through the wrist as well.
A transradial catheterization has several advantages, including:
- It is a more comfortable procedure for patients.
- There is virtually no risk of bleeding complications where the catheter is inserted. This is especially important for patients who have other medical conditions, such as bleeding disorders, obesity or peripheral arterial disease.
- Recovery time is much faster. Following the procedure, a simple wristband is used to compress the artery. The patient can sit up and walk around immediately, as compared to a patient undergoing a femoral artery procedure who must lie flat for four to six hours following the procedure.
- Patients can often eat within an hour of their procedure.
Patient Steve Sindler’s Story
Hear from grateful patient and successful Annapolis attorney Steve Sindler about how the transradial approach to cardiac catheterization—and the experts at MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital made a difference in his recovery.
The Transradial Approach to Cardiac Catheterization
Interventional cardiologist Dr. John Wang, chief of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, performs a transradial cardiac catheterization. This newer approach to catheterization, performed through the wrist instead of the groin, can mean less pain and a faster recovery for patients.
Dr. John Wang Discusses the Benefits of Transradial Cardiac Catheterization
“We’ve done thousands of procedures safely through the transradial approach.” Dr. John Wang, chief of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, describes the benefits of a newer approach to cardiac catheterization, performed through the patient’s wrist. The transradial approach is much more comfortable for patients and allows for faster healing and recovery.
Find out more about Transradial Cardiac Catheterization at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital.
Read more about the ways in which MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute cares for your heart.