Cardiac catheterization has come a long way over the past several decades, making surgeries safer, faster, and with techniques that drastically reduce recovery time and improve overall patient experience. One way this has been accomplished is radial access. Radial access is when a radial artery in the wrist is used as the entry point for the catheter, as opposed to an entry point in the leg or groin. This type of surgery has been performed at Mountainside Medical Center well over 1,100 times since 2014. Now there is even more to help patients with the opening of the Radial Lounge.
Mountainside Medical Center’s Radial Lounge, the first in the Hackensack Meridian Health family and a unique addition to a community hospital, is designed to make a patient’s recovery as comfortable and quick as possible. Since catheterization via radial entry does not require a patient to lie still for hours, Mountainside Medical Center has designed an area for patients to relax in a recliner and not feel confined to a bed.
Ankitkumar Patel, M.D., interventional cardiologist and the Medical Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Department, shares more about the new radial lounge.
The benefits of this type of surgery can be felt by the patient almost instantly. "At the completion of the procedure, patients are able sit up and not be restricted to bed rest. This is especially important as our patient population ages and has comorbid conditions (such as obesity, orthopedic issues, etc)," says Dr. Patel.
"It’s a complete change of post-procedure experience," says Dr. Patel. "Patients are able to sit up, eat a meal within a few minutes of procedure completion, and ambulate, or walk, to the restroom as needed. If they would like to rest, the recliners easily allow patients to lay back. The added space in the recovery bay makes it a more comfortable space for patients’ family members. It’s yet another example of what Mountainside Medical Center’s administrative and clinical leaders are committed to - a high quality, patient-centered care experience."
In addition to radial access improving patient satisfaction, it has been shown to improve safety. The procedure can be performed with little or no sedation which allows for earlier ambulation, eating and overall decrease in complications. In fact, Dr. Patel is a national leader in "no sedation" radial catheterization, which his research group has shown to decrease post-procedure complications.
Dr. Patel explains that radial access is routinely used for diagnostic and interventional coronary artery procedures. In addition to offering this type of surgery, Mountainside Medical Center has a robust program in radial to peripheral angiogram and intervention program. This has allowed the center to take care of complex and high risk patients with lifestyle-limiting claudication and chronic limb ischemia. Recently, Mountainside Medical Center has developed a radial to neuro/carotid imaging.
"The highest risk patients (elderly, low and high BMI, renal disease) are often the most vulnerable with femoral access - all of whom benefit from radial access. In addition, over the last 5 years, our program uses routine ultrasound guided radial access which has dramatically increased our success rate," says Dr. Patel.
Ahsan Sattar, M.D., Medical Director of Neuroendovascular Surgery and Stroke at Mountainside Medical Center performed the hospital’s first transradial neuroendovascular procedure in August of this year. "A radial approach is preferred for many of my cases due to decreased risk of complications and reduced infection," Dr. Sattar states, "and because patients have a quicker recovery and experience less discomfort after the procedure, they are more satisfied with their care."
The cardiologists, vascular specialists and interventional neurologists at Mountainside Medical Center are excited to continue offering this minimally invasive surgical approach, now with the added support of a radial lounge. "Since the opening of our radial lounge earlier this year we have routinely used this space - often times having up to three patients utilizing the space at the same time," shares Dr. Patel.
The Radial Lounge is the newest feature at Mountainside Medical Center that brings patient care and easy recovery to the forefront. Our hope is that all patients can take advantage of this great, new feature!