A new wrist procedure to help blockage in the heart - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/25/10

A new wrist procedure to help blockage in the heart

Posted: Updated:

By Karin McCay| email

Edited by Jordyn Nelson

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Imagine walking into the hospital with 80% blockage in one of your coronary arteries, and walking home the same day? It's happening in a few places, including Ohio State University Medical Center.

They're using the wrist to get to the heart. Doctors are still inserting tiny wire mesh tubes called stents to prop open blocked arteries, but instead of going through a large artery in the groin to get there, they're getting in through the wrist.

Dr. Quinn Caper at Ohio State says, "When we do this through the wrist, the risk for those major bleeding complications is reduced 70-80%."

It's not new, it's just unique. The wrist procedure has been gaining popularity over the past few years, but the vast majority of stents are still inserted the traditional way -- through the groin. The femoral artery -- in the upper thigh -- is about the size of a sharpie. That's small, but the radial artery in the wrist is about the size of a coffee stir stick. Partly because of size, not every heart patient would be a good candidate.

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