Removal of the radial artery (for what, how does it work?)
A removal of the radial artery can be performed as part of a bypass operation. Bypass surgery is used to bridge a narrowing of the coronary arteries. If the coronary vessels no longer allow enough blood to pass through, the heart muscles may be undersupplied.
To prevent this, an artery or a vein is used as a bypass. For example, the artery is placed before and after the narrowing so that the blood can continue to flow through this bypass. The removal of the radial artery is minimally invasive, i.e. with only a few incisions.
The surgeon can then endoscopically bind and cut the arteries at two points. The two ends are closed to prevent bleeding. Various collaterals or anastomoses ensure that the supply areas of the radial artery continue to be supplied with blood (the ulnar artery takes over the tasks of the radial artery).
Due to anatomical variations in the supply, the blood flow through the ulnar artery should be tested. The removal leaves a 2 to 3 cm long scar on the forearm. A further reason for the removal of the radial artery can be, for example, during plastic/reconstructive surgery.
In order to restore missing skin, a piece of skin including blood supply from another part of the body must be donated. In this context, the skin of the forearm with the radial artery may be considered. This article may also be of interest to you: Heart bypass – when will it be used?
Radial artery and heart catheter
A cardiac catheterization is an invasive (but not surgical) examination of the left or right heart with access via a vessel. Vessels in the groin or arm can be used for this purpose. To examine the right heart, a venous access is used, to examine the left heart an arterial access.
A left heart catheter examination can therefore be performed via the radial artery, for example. Here a catheter is inserted into the radial artery and pushed up to the heart under X-ray control. Once the catheter has reached the left heart, various examinations can be performed, such as measuring the pressure of the left ventricle or imaging the left ventricle using a contrast medium.
It is also possible to use this catheter to assess the coronary arteries with regard to coronary heart disease or to initiate interventional steps. For example, it is possible to reopen narrowed vessels with a balloon dilatation and implant stents. At the end of the examination, the catheter is withdrawn and the wound closed. A pressure bandage is often applied to prevent secondary bleeding.