It’s been said that the best way to have a good life is to have a good heart. While this phrase can be interpreted to mean the emotional heart, when people suffer from physical heart problems, they can experience chest pain; palpitations commonly known as racing of the heart; shortness of breath; a chronic cough; and excessive sweating — all symptoms that can place limitations on their activities and ultimately reduce their quality of life. Through the use of cardiac catheterization, physicians can learn about the heart and blood vessels to diagnose and treat a host of cardiac problems and diseases.
Millions of cardiac catheterization procedures have been performed since the technique was introduced in the mid-20th century. Since that time, the femoral artery in the groin has been the primary entry point for a thin tube that uses the circulatory system to clear blockages, deliver medication and position stents. Approximately 10 percent of the medical centers in the United States, including Monongahela Valley Hospital, have expanded their cardiac catheterization procedures to include the radial artery, located in the wrist, as an entry point to the circulatory system.
John Pacella, M.D., a cardiologist affiliated with Monongahela Valley Hospital whose specialty is interventional cardiology, recently explained the benefits of the radial approach.
“The femoral artery can be difficult to access in some individuals — particularly those who are overweight,” said Dr. Pacella. “Patients who undergo the radial technique have less bruising and bleeding, fewer complications and faster recoveries. In fact, it’s more comfortable for the patients because they can sit up immediately after the procedure.”
By offering the radial catheterization, MVH provides a procedure that is largely available only at larger metropolitan hospitals. Residents of the mid-Monongahela Valley and surrounding areas can have the procedure performed in familiar surroundings by medical professionals that they know and trust.
Dr. Pacella is a member of Century Cardiac Care, Inc. whose cardiologists also include
Stephen A. Bowser, M.D., and Simon H. Chough, M.D. The Mon Valley office is located at 1290 Chess Street, Suite 102 in Monongahela. For an appointment, call 724-258-4615.