University of Colorado Health
Contact Us Directions Employees Physicians
Poudre Valley Health System Guests and Visitors Hospitals and Clinics Community UCHealth Jobs Classes and Events Foundation and Volunteers Health library
Facebook Twitter YouTube Flickr
At a Glance
All Services
Medical clinics
Conditions we treat
Download our app
UC Health news


Radial artery catheterization

Used to diagnose and treat heart conditions, cardiac catheterization is a minimally invasive procedure by which X-ray guidance is used to help insert catheters (small tubes) into the body. The catheters can be inserted either through the groin (the traditional way) or the radial artery in the wrist (called radial artery catheterization).

Cardiologists at Heart Center of the Rockies use the radial artery catheterization procedure when it is medically appropriate for the patient.


Radial artery catheterization has been shown to decrease recovery time and reduce the amount of bleeding. However, radial artery catheterization is not medically appropriate for every patient. Talk to your cardiologist to find out if you are a good candidate for this procedure.

The procedure

During the procedure a local anesthetic is administered through the wrist. A blood thinner is given to help prevent clots from forming in the artery. Catheters are then advanced through a tube (sheath) and guided to the heart. Once the catheters reach the heart, the coronary angiogram and stent placement (if necessary) are performed.

Once the procedure is complete, the catheters and sheath are removed from the radial artery. You will be asked to wear a compression device for about two hours, avoid heavy lifting and stress to the wrist. By the third day after the procedure, normal activity with the hand can usually be resumed.

For more information, call Heart Center of the Rockies at 970.221.1000.

About Us
FAQ: Hepatitis C
PVHS-UCH partnership
Be a smart patient
About PVHS
Contact Us
Mission, Vision and Values
Charity Care
Communities We Serve
Baldrige National Quality Award
Nonprofit Status
Center for Performance Excellence
Joint Ventures
Report a Problem
To Report a Problem to the Joint Commission
Institutional Review Board

Awards and Recognition

University of Colorado Health employees dedicate themselves to providing patients and other customers with world-class care and service. Outside organizations recognize that, calling University of Colorado Health's hospitals some of the best in Colorado and even the best in the nation. Some of those accolades are listed below:



University of Colorado Health
Fort Collins, Colorado


© 2014 Poudre Valley Health System
Disclaimer  |  Privacy Policy  |  Site Map
University of Colorado Health