Recent Blog Articles
Improving access to hearing aids
Can mindfulness change your brain?
Five lifestyle factors that can help prevent gastroesophageal reflux disease
Transient ischemic attacks: Varied symptoms, all important
5 inflammation-fighting food swaps
Is IBD an underrecognized health problem in minority groups?
Sickle cell disease in newborns and children: What families should know and do
COVID-19 vaccines for children and teens: What we do - and don’t - know
Happy trails: Take a hike, now
Sleep well — and reduce your risk of dementia and death
Reaching the heart through an artery in the wrist
Artery-opening angioplasty via the arm is a good alternative to the approach that starts at the groin.
All blood vessels lead back to the heart. That's the basic idea behind artery-opening angioplasty. A doctor inserts a thin tube known as a catheter into a major blood vessel, gently maneuvers it through the vessel and into the heart, and uses an inflatable balloon on a wire to open a blocked coronary artery, usually placing a stent. Most doctors in the United States begin angioplasty at the femoral artery, the large vessel at the top of the thigh. But a growing number of doctors here are following what their European and Asian colleagues are doing: beginning angioplasty through the radial artery in the wrist. This approach is less likely to cause bleeding—and has other potential benefits to boot.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.