What is Radial Artery Access?

This method is when interventional cardiologists perform your procedure through radial artery access, they will use the radial artery in the wrist as the entry point for the catheter. The cardiologist threads the thin catheter through the body’s network of arteries in the arm and into the chest, eventually reaching the heart. Also called transradial access, transradial angioplasty, or the transradial approach.

Is this Method for All Patients?

Not all patients can have their procedure done through radial artery access. In order to be a candidate for this method, patients must have good blood supply to their hands, through both the radial artery and the ulnar artery. The blood supply from both arteries has to be good in the rare case that the radial artery becomes blocked (occluded) after the procedure. If the blood flow through both arteries is good, then it would not matter if the radial artery becomes blocked, because the ulnar artery can take over entirely and supply enough blood to the whole hand. 

In the Allen test, the blood supply to the hands is checked.  Your doctor presses their thumb against the ulnar artery, which is located in the “pinkie finger” side of the wrist. Your doctor will then press his or her other thumb on the radial artery, which is located on the thumb side of the wrist. You will be asked to open and close your hand until it turns pale. Then, your doctor will release the pressure over the ulnar artery. If a normal color returns to your hand in 8 seconds or less, your doctor knows that the ulnar artery can supply all of the blood that your hand needs in the rare event that your radial artery occludes.  This approach also cannot be done in patients who are very thin or who have small or twisted arteries.

Staying Active in Morris Plains

Morris Plains, NJ a township within Morris County offers a lot of cardio building, heart healthy activities.  Enjoy a variety of activities at the Central Park of Morris County.  The park has hiking trails, paved biking trails, ice skating, softball, and a cross-country course.  Get competitive in a volleyball game with your friends or swim laps at the Community Park PoolTry a variety of vegan and vegetarian options at Freshii.