Unclogging arteries through wrist becoming more common

Updated:Feb 6,2017

The way to a man’s heart may be his wrist.

More U.S. doctors are unclogging heart arteries — in men and women — by entering through an artery in the wrist, according to a new study. This method, which is already common in Europe, is linked to less bleeding complications than the traditional route through the groin.

Doctors reopen blocked arteries by threading a catheter through an artery in the groin or wrist into the heart. After the procedure, patients are often treated with blood-thinning medications that make it harder to stop bleeding. The artery in the wrist is smaller and located closer to the skin’s surface. So it’s easier to compress manually and helps to prevent or stop bleeding.

Wider use of the wrist-route procedure, particularly in high-risk patients, could improve safety, especially in people over age 75, women and patients with acute coronary syndromes.
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