Doylestown Hospital
595 West State Street, Doylestown, PA 18901 (215) 345-2200
V.I.A. Health System
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Radial Artery Access: The Patient's Perspective

Radial Artery Access

Doctors from The Richard A. Reif Heart Institute of Doylestown Hospital have specialized training and advanced skills in radial artery stenting. In the past, interventional cardiologists gained access to the heart's arteries by placing a catheter in the femoral artery in the groin and threading it up and into the heart. Today, for many patients, doctors are able to use the radial artery in the wrist, which offers many advantages for patients including reduced bleeding, fewer complications, shorter hospital stays and the ability to get out of bed and walk around soon after their procedure

About 75% of the catheterizations done at Doylestown Hospital are now done using radial artery access.

Each year, more than a million cardiac catheterizations are performed in the United States, most starting with a puncture to the femoral artery in the groin. While this is the most common approach, the entry point is sometimes difficult to access and has a greater associated risk of bleeding complications (especially in women), post-procedure pain and a slower recovery period.  Post procedure, patients receiving femoral access are generally required to lie still for four to six hours while pressure is applied to the access area to ensure no further bleeding.

For certain types of patients, including obese patients, women and the elderly, and patients with peripheral vascular disease, radial access provides documented reductions in bleeding complications, including swelling, less back pain and quicker recovery. Patients treated with radial access are able to sit up and walk around soon after the procedure. As a result, these patients are more likely to be discharged sooner than those treated with femoral access.