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New Approach to Angioplasty

by jhopp on March 7, 2013

The traditional approach to angioplasty inserts a catheter into the patient’s femoral artery buried at the groin deep in a patient’s leg. Now cardiologists at AAMC have another route to restore blood flow to the heart muscle—through the wrist. It’s called radial artery angioplasty. “The radial artery approach has a lower risk of bleeding complications,” said interventional cardiologist Scott Katzen, MD, who has performed hundreds of radial artery catheterizations. “It’s more comfortable for the patients, and they literally can be in bed sitting up eating their lunch a half hour after the procedure.” After a femoral artery catheterization, patients must lay flat for several hours. Radial angioplasty procedures are performed by a team of AAMC nurses, technicians and interventional cardiologists in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab. The Cath Lab team is on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to save the lives of heart attack patients. Visit askAAMC.org/cardiac to learn more.