While the most commonly used entry point to the circulatory system for catheter-based procedures has been the femoral artery in the groin, Chester County Hospital offers another access point, the radial artery, located in the wrist. This innovative cardiac catheterization technique reduces recovery time and bleeding and may provide a less stressful option for patients who need the procedure.
The radial artery in the wrist is close to the skin surface, making the needle puncture used in catheterization more straightforward for the cardiologist and less uncomfortable for the patient. When the procedure has been completed, a band similar to a wristwatch is placed around the wrist, which supplies pressure and prevents bleeding. Most patients are able to get up almost immediately and walk. Unlike the femoral, any bleeding from the radial artery is readily apparent.
Patients who undergo this newer technique have less bruising and bleeding, fewer complications and a faster recovery overall.