Doctors at Grant Medical Center are testing to see if the way to a woman's heart is through her wrist, 10TV’s Andrea Cambern reported Monday.
Mary Cameron of Warsaw, Ohio, said that she was fine until six weeks ago, when she started to feel some pressure in her chest. The pressure continuously got worse.
"I have a family history of heart problems so I knew pretty much, the route it was going to go," Cameron said.
Dr. Peter Amsterdam of Grant Medical Center wanted a picture of what was happening, so he scheduled Cameron for a heart catheterization.
"The first part of the heart cath is just getting the pictures," Amsterdam said.
To do that, he needed to run a tiny wire with a camera through an artery to her heart, then inject some dye.
Sometimes, doctors also placed a balloon stent, to push back plaque and open arteries so blood can flow more freely, Cambern reported. Normally, the doctor threaded the device through an artery in the groin,
In Cameron’s case, Amsterdam did it through her wrist, Cambern reported.
"It's just a little puncture wound," Cameron said.
The procedure was part of a clinical trial to see if the shorter route worked as well in women, as it seemed to in men.
"There's a lower bleeding risk with doing catheterizations through the wrist, compared to the groin," Amsterdam said. " In terms of comfort level, most people seem to find it more comfortable going through the wrist rather than the groin."
Because patients who agreed to join this clinical trial are chosen at random, neither Cameron nor Amsterdam knew which type of procedure was going to be used until minutes before surgery. But when her wrist cath was finished, Cameron said that she found another plus -- a faster recovery.
"I didn't have to lay flat for two hours. So, that was really nice," Cameron said.
Three thousand women across the country will be studied at 50 sites, to see if this procedure works as well in women as it did in men.
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More Information: Peter B. Amsterdam, MD