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Weighing risk of surgery via wrist

The Wall Street Journal, April 5, 2011
A technique for performing a common heart procedure through the wrist instead of the groin significantly reduced the risk of bleeding, but didn't cut the chances of death, heart attack or other major events, a new study found. Known as cardiac catheterization, the procedure is carried out on more than one million patients a year in the U.S. It is used to detect blockages in the coronary arteries, and to deploy angioplasty balloons and stents to treat obstructions to restore the flow of blood to the heart's muscle. In the U.S., doctors typically perform the procedure by threading a catheter into the heart via the femoral artery, requiring a puncture wound in the groin. The new study could bolster the growing popularity among patients of the wrist route, which requires less recovery time and discomfort than the traditional technique

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