All in the Wrist: Radial Artery Catheterization

This blog was contributed by Dr. Jun Chung of Cardiolovascular Specialists.

Cardiac catheterization is a minimally invasive way for physicians to treat common heart problems that coronary heart disease, congenital heart defects and arrhythmias. The widely used procedure provides lower risks of bleeding, infection and pain, while giving patients a quicker recovery time. These minimally invasive procedures have revolutionized cardiac treatment.

A new method of catheterization using the radial artery in the wrist is providing even more benefits to patients. In the past, the only way to perform cardiac catheterization was through the femoral artery in the groin. After this procedure, patients had to remain lying down for hours to allow the artery to heal.

Using the radial artery in the wrist, however, means you can get up as soon as the anesthesia has worn off. You can go home more quickly after the procedure. Studies have also shown that there are fewer complications and less bleeding when the procedure is done through the radial artery. It can especially benefit obese patients or patients with poor circulation in their legs.

Not everyone can have a radial artery catheterization, however. The artery may be too small in some people and those who receive dialysis may benefit more from the femoral approach. If your physician is not experienced in radial catheterization, they may choose to use the more traditional approach.

Physicians with Bon Secours Heart & Vascular Institute provide expert treatment of heart conditions using radial artery catheterization. Find out if the a radial approach would benefit you by speaking to your trusted cardiologist.

About Dr. Chung – Dr. Chung is a Clinical Cardiologist specially trained in interventional procedures. He earned dual undergraduate degrees in Biophysics and Religious Studies from University of Virginia, and his medical degree from UVa’s School of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at University of Minnesota Hospital and Clinics, Minneapolis. Since 1997, Dr. Chung has been a Clinical Associate Professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions.

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