CHI Health Leads Country in Money-Saving, Patient-Friendly Heart Procedure

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A heart procedure that’s easier on you, has fewer complications and costs less? You’d choose it over one with a longer recovery time and potentially more problems, right?

The more patient-friendly procedure is the transradial percutaneous coronary intervention (radial procedure) and CHI Health cardiologists have some of the most extensive experience in the country performing this procedure. More than 70 percent of the procedures we do for patients with blocked arteries are now radial – and climbing.

Nationally, the rate is about 37 percent, or approximately half of CHI Health’s.

Why is this a big deal?

Before the radial procedure was introduced, cardiologists would run a wire through a blood vessel in the patient’s groin up to the blocked artery to place a stent. With the new procedure doctors instead go through an artery in the wrist.

New research published in JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions found that if more radial, same-day interventions were performed, hospitals across the country could save $300 million a year. In other words, following CHI Health’s lead could save a lot of money.

A heart procedure that's easier on you, has fewer complications and costs less?

“Every patient is done by the radial approach unless there is a reason we cannot,” said CHI Health Cardiologist Michael Del Core, MD, who was among the first to perform the procedure in 1999.

“The main advantage is patient comfort,” Dr. Del Core said. “They don’t have to remain in bed flat on their backs after the procedure. They can begin ambulation almost immediately. We have even developed a program of same-day discharge following an intervention.”

There are also fewer access site complications. “This is very important because femoral complications can be life-threatening,” he said.

Michael Del Core, MD

Interventional Cardiology,
Cardiology