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Radial artery access for cardiac catheterization uses a major artery in the wrist to reach the heart and perform the cardiovascular procedure. This approach may allow you to go home sooner than you would if doctors were to use the femoral artery in your groin.
Interventional cardiologists have often accessed the heart through the large femoral artery in the groin when performing cardiac catheterization, a technique used to diagnose and treat heart conditions. Today, however, doctors are increasingly using the radial artery in the wrist to do this. Radial artery access generally is more comfortable and has a lower risk of post-procedure complications.
If you need a diagnostic or therapeutic catheter-based cardiovascular procedure, ask your Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican doctor about radial artery access in Las Vegas or Henderson, NV. It can provide life-saving interventions, such as angioplasty, with few activity restrictions related to the puncture site. Find a cardiologist at St. Rose or call us at (702) 616-4900.
You will receive sedation to keep you drowsy and comfortable throughout the cardiac catheterization procedure. The health care team will scrub your wrist with an antiseptic solution to prepare the site for the radial artery access. They may also prep your groin in case a complication with radial artery access requires a switch to the femoral artery.
You will be given an injection of a numbing medication at the site in the wrist where the catheter will be inserted into the radial artery. Then, your doctor will navigate instruments to the heart through the artery and perform any necessary diagnostic or therapeutic procedures.
After the catheter is removed from the radial artery, a compression device applies pressure to the puncture site and stops it from bleeding. You will wear this device for about two hours. A nurse monitors your blood pressure, breathing, and other vital signs as you rest in the recovery area.
There is minimal down time after radial artery access. Most patients are able to walk around soon after the procedure. You will receive instructions regarding activity restrictions and how to care for the catheter site. You should promptly report swelling or bleeding at the wrist, fever, or abnormal heartbeats to your doctor.
Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican provides interventional procedures, such as radial artery access, in southern Nevada.