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For immediate release                                              July 5, 2000

Heart Institute offers newest heart diagnostic option

The Heart Institute at Sharon Regional Health System
is now offering the newest option in detecting blockages in the heart that can lead to heart attacks. Cardiologists at Sharon Regional recently began performing transradial angiography, a process in which a heart catheterization is done through the radial artery in the wrist rather than the femoral artery in the leg, which is the traditional route.

Sharon Regional is the only hospital in Mercer County to offer this advanced technique, which has a higher success rate, fewer complications, faster recovery time, and high degree of patient satisfaction.

Patients undergoing a cardiac cath through the traditional leg site usually have to lie flat for 4-6 hours after the procedure until a clot forms at the site. Patients having their cath done through the wrist can sit up within a few minutes, walk to a restroom, and often go home within 1-2 hours.

James Landis, Jr., M.D., board certified cardiologist and medical director of Sharon Regional’s Heart Institute, said the procedure offers patients a number of benefits over cardiac catheterizations performed through the groin. “Using the radial artery in the wrist for heart caths means our patients have a complication rate 20 times less than those done through the groin,” stated Dr. Landis (complication rate for radial caths is 0.1 percent as opposed to 2.5-3 percent for groin site caths).

“In addition,” Dr. Landis emphasized, “we intend to perform balloon angioplasty with stent placement in coronary arteries through this radial wrist approach. This will begin once our Heart Institute surgical program begins later in July.”

According to Dr. Landis, not everyone who needs a cardiac cath can have it done through the wrist. A simple assessment of the radial and ulnar arteries, which supply blood to the hand, can usually determine a patient’s suitability for the wrist option. It is estimated that 75 percent of the patients who need cardiac caths are candidates for the radial artery technique.

Sharon Regional’s Heart Institute currently performs more than 700 cardiac catheterizations each year. It recently opened a second cath lab that will be also utilized for advanced procedures such as rescue angioplasty, stents, rotoblator, and other procedures.