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The best way to a person’s heart is through the wrist, at least according to the experts when it comes to a cardiac catheterization. Cardiac catheterization is a minimally invasive way to diagnose and treat a variety of heart and vascular conditions by guiding thin, flexible tubes called catheters through blood vessels to problem areas.
Traditionally, this procedure was done through the femoral artery in the groin. But the gold standard today is using the transradial approach – accessing the coronary arteries through a small IV in the wrist. Transradial cardiac catheterization offers many advantages for patients including faster recovery, less pain, and less risk of bleeding.
Our Interventional Cardiology Program is a national leader in this technique, and the doctors at MedStar Health use it in 90 percent or more of their cases — double the national average. Dr. John Wang, Chief of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, and Dr. Antony Kaliyadan, an interventional cardiologist at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital explain this technique and its many advantages for patients. They also talk about why someone would need a catheterization, why more doctors haven’t adopted this method, and why patients should ask their doctor if they can do the catheterization through the wrist. Learn about their “radial-first” approach, and the new innovations and technologies on the horizon in interventional cardiology.