Heart Procedure at Penrose-St. Francis Now Performed Through the Wrist

News Release
January 8, 2013

Heart Procedure at Penrose-St. Francis Now Performed Through the Wrist

Colorado Springs, Colo. As a general rule, people undergoing heart catheterizations in the United States do so with the procedure starting at the femoral artery found in the groin. However, the next time a patient at Penrose-St. Francis Health Services has a cardiac catheterization, he or she may be surprised to find that the pathway to the heart starts at the wrist (transradial access) and not the groin. Dr. Clinton Malone and Dr. Christian Simpfendorfer, Interventional Cardiologists, have embraced the transradial approach as a way to reduce the risk of complications, improve patient outcomes and to significantly improve the overall patient experience.

So, what exactly is a cardiac catheterization? Its a mouthful, but there are more than one million of these procedures performed in the U.S. each year. Its a method that doctors use to perform a range of tests and procedures in order to diagnose and treat coronary artery diseases and other cardiovascular conditions. During this procedure, a physician will pass wires and catheters through a patients arteries to reach their heart. Once access to the artery is made, the interventional cardiologist is able to perform either a diagnostic procedure, which determines if and where there are blockages that impede the flow of blood to the heart muscle, or an interventional procedure to open up the blocked artery.

The radial artery provides excellent point of entry. It enables physicians to perform both diagnostic and interventional coronary procedures transradially. While the technique is not new, it is not widely adopted. For certain types of patients, including obese patients, women and the elderly, and patients with peripheral vascular disease, transradial access provides many advantages. It reduces bleeding, increases the speed of recovery, improves comfort level, and decreases time at the hospital. It has also been proven to minimize the risk of nerve damage.

In this past year, there has been a growing interest among medical professionals in the United States to learn the transradial technique as a way to reduce bleeding complications, procedure costs, shorten hospital stays, and improve patient satisfaction.

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About Penrose St. Francis Health Services:

Penrose-St. Francis Health Services is a full-service, 522-bed acute care facility offering a full complement of emergency, medical and surgical services. Penrose-St. Francis was named one of Americas 50 Best Hospitals for 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 by HealthGrades, the only recipient in Colorado. Penrose-St. Francis is part of Centura Health, Colorados largest hospital and health care network delivering advanced care to more than half a million people each year, across 13 hospitals, seven senior living communities, medical clinics, Flight For Life and home care and hospice services.Penrose-St. Francis and Centura's strength lies in the ability to offer a team of connected networks and shared resources to deliver accessible, reliable and cost-effective health care across the state. For more information about Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, visit www.penrosestfrancis.org.