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MRH offers new advanced procedure

Mary Rutan Hospital is offering a new transradial approach to heart catheterization, with many of the catheterization procedures being done by going through the wrist instead of the groin.


Called “transradial access,” this emerging approach has increased advantages for patients, including reduced complications, increased patient comfort, and quicker recovery time.

 “Use of this new approach ensures better patient outcomes and comfort,” says William Houser, cardiologist at the Ross Heart Hospital and credentialed physician with MRH. “As a general rule we see patients sitting up and mobile much faster after the procedure and with less post-procedure pain.”

For both groin (transfemoral) and wrist (transradial) catheterization, once the artery is engaged, the diagnostic and interventional procedures are virtually the same. One major difference, however, is what happens at the end of each procedure. With groin access, the patient may end up lying flat for four to six hours after the procedure. This is necessary to ensure the puncture site does not bleed. With wrist access, patients are able to get up almost immediately after the procedure.

Dr. Houser emphasizes that transradial access can have special benefits for women, the elderly, those with peripheral vascular disease and obese patients. For example, he says, while the transfemoral approach is more common in the United States, the entry point is sometimes difficult to access and has a greater associated risk of complications, including bleeding — especially in women. In women and these other patient groups, Dr. Houser estimates transradial access reduces the risk of bleeding complications by 50 percent or more in these populations, compared to transfemoral access.

Mary Rutan Hospital is one of only a few local hospitals which offer the innovative procedure. For more information on transradial catheterization contact the cardiology department at 599-1405.

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