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Radial Procedure

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Reno Mayor Bob Cashell recently had heart surgery. So how's he doing now? "Oh my health is great. I had some good mechanics, I put in a new valve. I'm really doing good. The old truck is running really good now."

But to discover what was wrong with his heart, Dr. Devang Desai, of Saint Mary's, needed to see into his heart. He took a look using a radial procedure. "We go right through that catheter and we can go to the heart. We've even done neck procedures through the arm, carotid stenting."

In the past, doctors would go up through a catheter in the groin. The problem is that procedure is risky, forces the patient to lay flat for hours in recovery and can cause internal bleeding. The radial procedure is safer, easier on the patient and saves money. "The radial artery is very superficial just below the skin. There's bone underneath so if I hold pressure like this I can make it stop bleeding."

A plastic cuff is all that's needed post surgery to make sure the bleeding stops.

Mayor Cashell was one of the first to get the radial catheterization in Reno. But doctors around the world have been doing them for years. Dr. Desai says 99% of his practice is now radial. He's perfected the procedure and is now teaching it to doctors from all over the country.  "Saint Mary's is the only teaching facility in Nevada and the third teaching facility on the west coast with Stanford and UCLA and us and we're actually the only hands on facility on the west coast."

Written By Wendy Damonte
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