SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - If your doctor decides your heart needs stents, there's a procedure gaining momentum in the U.S. — and best of all, it's easier on you.
Stents enlarge arteries in your heart that have narrowed from plaque. Normally, a doctor would go through an artery in your groin area.
Now, some stents go through your wrist.
"More and more now after patients have stent procedures done through the radial artery, it's more accepted that they can go home the same day," said Dr. Jonathan Davis, an interventional cardiologist at Willis-Knighton. "Which is great for the patient, and it's also great for the healthcare systems in saving money,"
Doctors say you will recover faster from the wrist procedure.
"A lot of patients in the old days remember sandbags in their groin and being in bed for 8 hours, and they don't want to do that," said Dr. Davis.
Doctors say going through the wrist has shown lower bleeding complications versus through your groin.
More patients want the new procedure. Chris Marlowe has had several stents placed in his heart.
"I've had it done both ways through the groin and through the wrist," Marlowe said.
Marlowe is a handyman, so he needs to be able to get back to work as quickly as he can.
"On the wrist, they just put a bandage, it's sort of a compression bracelet, and three hours later I was at home," Marlowe said. "It was great."
"There are few limitations after a radial heart cath in terms of recovery," Dr. Davis said. "You can return to driving sooner, you can return to your walking exercise routine sooner, you're not left with some pain in the groin. Patients have minimal discomfort, typically over the radial artery, sometimes some very minor bruising, but they can return to the activities they want to be doing much faster with very few restrictions."
Doctors will review your case to see if you're a good fit for going through the wrist. Patients who have had a stent placed through the groin can have a stent placed through the wrist after.