DETROIT, MI (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- They are clogs that kill. Arteries hardened with plaque can lead to deadly heart attacks. Every year, one million Americans undergo a potentially life-saving procedure to reopen clogged arteries. Now, there's a new technique with some great benefits for patients.
Shooting buckets with his son, Brian Bennett knows the key to a good jumper is all in the wrist. The key to saving his life may have started at his wrist too.
"I was a walking time bomb," Brian Bennett told Ivanhoe. "My LAD, they call it the widow-maker, was 90 percent blocked."
A stress test uncovered coronary heart disease. Several of Brian’s arteries around his heart were clogged with plaque. Doctors performed a coronary angioplasty, inflating tiny balloons in the arteries to break up the blockages. But instead of the traditional approach of threading a catheter through Brian’s leg to reach those arteries, doctors went through his wrist!
"Because the artery in your wrist is right on the surface, it’s easily visible. It’s right next to a bone. You can easily stop any bleeding," Adam Greenbaum, M.D, director of the cardiac catheterization laboratory at Henry Ford Hospital, said.
Doctors say bleeding from the leg is a risk after surgery and one of the main reasons angioplasty patients are often kept overnight for observation. When surgeons enter at the wrist, patients need a shorter observation period making it possible for them to go home the same day. Brian was back home just six hours after surgery.
"I took my kids to school the next day, went to a wedding a day later, back to work on Monday," Brian said.
Doctors say with the wrist procedure, patients can sit up to recover. With an approach through the leg, patients must remain flat during recovery, which can slow recovery time for those with back problems. MORE
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