Wrist access might be best for angioplasty

January 20, 2009 1:55:10 PM PST
An unusual and rarely used technique for angioplasty may be safer and involve a speedier recovery for patients. The report finds the best way of accessing and treating ailing hearts with angioplasty may be through the wrist.

The most common approach for angioplasty to open blocked arteries involves making an incision in the groin. Researchers say the catheterization technique through the wrist reduces risk, bleeding, cost and patient recovery time when treating blocked arteries.

Currently, wrist access is used in only about 2 percent of angioplasty procedures.

The study was presented at the annual International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy in Florida.