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Transradial Catheterization

During coronary angiograms and coronary angioplasties, physicians typically insert the catheter through the femoral artery in the groin. However, in many cases, physicians may use the radial artery in the wrist.

With a traditional angiogram or angioplasty, when the catheter is inserted through an artery in the groin, the patient must lie still in bed for four to six hours or longer. Use of the radial artery allows the patient to get up and move around immediately after the procedure. The radial artery also is more accessible than the femoral artery and usually results in less blood loss.

This procedure is not available to patients with an abnormal Allen test, a test used to determine if blood flow to the hand through the ulnar artery is adequate. Hand injuries and other damage to the radial artery also may affect a patient’s ability to have a transradial catheter.

What to expect during this procedure

  • During the procedure you may experience some warmness or slight burning when medication is injected into the radial artery.
  • At the end of the procedure, a plastic band (hemoband) will be placed tightly on your arm just above the injection site.
  • You will be asked not use or move your wrist and arm for a specific period of time, usually two to three hours.
  • The band will be gradually loosened until all bleeding has stopped. Once the band is removed, you will still have specific instructions as to when you can return to normal use.

Returning home:

  • Upon discharge, you will be given specific instructions about your activity level. Arrange for someone to drive you home.
  • You will have restrictions on usage and the amount of weight you can lift while recovering.
  • Usually, normal activity can resume within two to seven days after the procedure, depending on what your normal daily activities include.

This test or treatment is offered at this facility:

To find a physician visit our Find a Doc or call (502) 629-1234 for a physician referral.

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