Arm (wrist) vs Groin Access
Angiograms have historical always been done via the femoral approach ( groin ) but in recent years the radial access have become the approach of choice in many centers.
The radial approach is less painful, has much less vascular complications and has almost zero bleeding risk.
Access is gained through the radial artery ( or in some cases the Ulnar artery ) and when the procedure is complete and the sheath is removed, an inflatable wrist band ( radial band ) is used to control bleeding from the access site.
By far the most appreciated benefit is that patients can be mobilised almost immediately after their procedure and are allowed to go to the bathroom or sit in an easy chair to have a meal.
The radial band has to be worn for a few hours until deflated completely and only removed when there is no risk for bleeding from the access area. Only then can the patient go home.
Patients who have had an angiogram via the femoral approach will have to have bed rest for 6 hours post procedure and will not be able to go home the same day.