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Published on October 25, 2010

Advancements in Technology Benefit Cardiology Patients at Palos

Interventional cardiologists affiliated with Palos Community Hospital are among the first in Chicago’s southwest suburbs to embrace the transradial approach for heart angiograms and clearing blocked arteries. Transradial catheterization uses arteries in the wrist to access the heart, and it offers many improvements over the traditional approach by reducing bleeding complications, eliminating scarring and offering significantly shorter recovery periods.

Cardiac catheterizations are performed to diagnose a heart problem or as part of a procedure to correct a problem that’s already been diagnosed. The majority of people requiring catheterizations in the United States undergo a procedure that accesses the heart through the femoral artery in the leg, known as transfemoral access. However, advances in diagnostic technology, such as those at Palos Community Hospital, now show that the best path to the heart may be through the wrist.

“By going through the wrist rather than the groin, most patients experience less pain after the procedure, as well as a reduced risk of bleeding,” explains Roy Bliley, M.D., an interventional cardiologist affiliated with Palos Community Hospital. “When it comes to patient comfort, the benefits are great.”

Although complications from standard catheterization through the groin are low, occurring in between only two and nine percent of patients, the transradial approach can reduce bleeding – the most common complication among women and the elderly – to less than one percent. It also eliminates much of the discomfort associated with the procedure.

Patients who have a transradial cath can immediately sit up, eat and walk without pain. Most individuals are candidates for the procedure, except for those on dialysis and those with rare vascular issues or lymphedema. For more complicated cases, when larger catheters or multiple devices are needed, femoral access is still the preferred method.

Interventional cardiologists affiliated with Palos Community Hospital are among the first in Chicago’s southwest suburbs to embrace the transradial approach for heart angiograms and clearing blocked arteries. Transradial catheterization uses arteries in the wrist to access the heart, and it offers many improvements over the traditional approach by reducing bleeding complications, eliminating scarring and offering significantly shorter recovery periods.

Cardiac catheterizations are performed to diagnose a heart problem or as part of a procedure to correct a problem that’s already been diagnosed. The majority of people requiring catheterizations in the United States undergo a procedure that accesses the heart through the femoral artery in the leg, known as transfemoral access. However, advances in diagnostic technology, such as those at Palos Community Hospital, now show that the best path to the heart may be through the wrist.

“By going through the wrist rather than the groin, most patients experience less pain after the procedure, as well as a reduced risk of bleeding,” explains Roy Bliley, M.D., an interventional cardiologist affiliated with Palos Community Hospital. “When it comes to patient comfort, the benefits are great.”

Although complications from standard catheterization through the groin are low, occurring in between only two and nine percent of patients, the transradial approach can reduce bleeding – the most common complication among women and the elderly – to less than one percent. It also eliminates much of the discomfort associated with the procedure.

Patients who have a transradial cath can immediately sit up, eat and walk without pain. Most individuals are candidates for the procedure, except for those on dialysis and those with rare vascular issues or lymphedema. For more complicated cases, when larger catheters or multiple devices are needed, femoral access is still the preferred method.

Palos Community Hospital is the recipient of the 2011 HealthGrades Cardiac Care, Cardiac Surgery and Coronary Intervention Excellence Awards and is ranked #1 in Illinois by HealthGrades in 2011 for Overall Cardiac Services and Cardiac Surgery. Palos Community Hospital also has been designated a BlueCross and BlueShield Cardiac Care Blue Distinction Center.

To find a physician affiliated with Palos Community Hospital visit us online at PalosCommunityHospital.org/doctor or call 708-226-2300.