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Radial Angioplasty at Texas Health Plano Helps North Texan Eliminate Chest Pain|
PLANO, Texas — For about two weeks, 53-year-old Gary Rasco experienced an annoying pain in his chest. The discomfort only came at night when he was watching TV or relaxing at home with his family.
“I didn’t have any idea at all what was going on,” he said. “For a man my age I feel pretty healthy. I thought ‘Something’s not right. I don’t know for sure what, but I need to find out.’”
The Garland resident went to his primary care doctor who referred him to Dr. Vijay Ramanath, an interventional cardiologist on the medical staff at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano. A stress test revealed he needed a cardiac catherization procedure the next day. During the procedure, Ramanath performed a new type of balloon angioplasty, called transradial coronary angioplasty, to open a coronary artery that was 99 percent blocked.
During a transradial coronary angioplasty, physicians access the heart through an artery in the wrist. Traditional angioplasty accesses the heart through an incision in the groin. The new radial technique helps patients recover with less pain and more quickly, since they can be up walking around nearly immediately after the procedure, Ramanath said. Performing the procedure from the wrist eliminates the need for prolonged bedrest and dramatically reduces the risk of life-threatening bleeds.
A tiny balloon on the end of the wire was guided to the blockage then inflated by Ramanath, restoring healthy blood flow to Rasco’s heart. He then placed a stent in the artery to keep the blood vessel open.
“When the wrist is used rather than the groin, the patient can sit up immediately, as was the case with Mr. Rasco, or even recover in a chair rather than the hospital bed,” Ramanath said.
Rasco said he was awake but comfortable for the entire procedure and was up walking around and ready to go home immediately after. He stayed overnight at Texas Health Plano for observation, but was home the next day. “The chest pain went away and I haven’t had a problem since.”
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Doctors on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital.