Today is the second in a series of articles, published each Thursday, focusing on February's American Heart Month.
CLINTON Dr. Ali Albaghdadi wants patients to have a better tomorrow.
To help the recovery process along for individuals, Albaghdadi is utilizing a technique at Mercy Medical Center North that few hospitals in the United States are using.
The cardiologist is using a new method for cardiovascular catheterization procedures called radial artery access. According to information published in September by Wake Forest Baptist Health Center, approximately 10 percent of hospitals currently use that method.
The recovery time for patients is usually quicker, and normally less painful, using this technique, Albaghdadi said.
"The next day is going to be easier," Albaghdadi said. "The soreness factor is probably a lot higher in the groin than the wrist."
Cardiovascular catheterization is a commonly used procedure to detect blockages in blood vessels in the heart and throughout the body. The procedure is used to clear blockages using angioplasty and stents to restore blood flow.
The majority of these procedures is done using a a catheter inserted near the groin into the femoral artery at the top of the leg and threaded into the heart or peripheral arteries.
In the radial access method, the cardiologist enters through the radial artery in the wrist, instead of the femoral artery near the groin, as an entry point.
This creates a better recovery time for patients, but makes it more difficult for the doctor, Albaghdadi said.
"It's not a lot different," said Albaghdadi, explaining the differences between the two methods. "It's really all about patient satisfaction. It's a little harder for the doctor but a little easier for the patient."
The ease for the patient comes from recovery time and reduced chances of excessive bleeding. In best case scenarios where nothing needs to be repaired, the patient is given a cuff around his or her wrist after the surgery, and after two hours, the cuff is removed.