London: Heart surgery became a less tedious process as one can get the heart surgery done through an incision in the wrist.

All thanks to the British cardiac surgeons who have embarked a unique technique to carry out angioplasty.

Angioplasty involves clearing blocked arteries in patients, who usually suffer heart attacks, by inflating a tiny balloon inserted through a tube via a major blood vessel.

It widens the blocked artery, restoring blood flow. And, to retain the improved size, a hollow metal tube or stent is inserted. Traditionally, the surgery is performed via the femoral artery in the groin.

But, a team of cardiologists in Britain is now using the radial artery in the wrist to carry out life-saving operations after a major heart attack.

"This is the future of angioplasty. It is safer and more comfortable with the chances of complications much reduced. The patient, in most routine cases, can also go home much sooner," said cardiologist Dr Rod Stables of Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital.

According to the cardiac surgeons, radial angioplasty involves a small incision being made in the wrist under local anaesthetic, the 'Daily Mail' reported.

Dr Rod Stables, who now performs 95 per cent of his angioplasties through the wrist, said: “Too few cardiologists are trained in this technique.”

They have preferred the femoral artery because it provides a larger blood vessel, making it easier to guide their instruments through, and some patients require bulkier catheters which can't fit through the radial artery.

“It was little more taxing than a visit to the dentist. It was painless and relaxed. I lay on the operating table and rolled up my sleeve,” said a 63-year-old patient, who recently underwent the operation.

(Agencies)