Wake Forest Baptist Opens New Recovery Lounge For Heart Patients

October 31, 2011

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has introduced a new level of care for heart patients by opening the Radial Lounge, a state-of-the-art comprehensive recovery area. 

The 1,900-square-foot facility houses eight treatment rooms with individual lounge chairs, high-definition televisions, and wireless Internet access. Patients can walk into the room, have snacks and refreshments, relax and be out of the hospital within two to six hours after undergoing transradial catheterization procedures.

“Our cardiology team is very excited to be able to offer our patients this advanced care and a safe and comfortable place to recover,” said Robert Applegate, M.D., professor of cardiology at Wake Forest Baptist.

Cardiac catheterization is a method used to perform several tests and procedures to diagnose and treat coronary artery disease. The method involves threading a long, thin catheter through an artery into the heart.

Catheterization through the radial artery (in the wrist) reduces bleeding complications, is less expensive and produces shorter recovery times than traditional catheterization access through the femoral artery (in the groin).

“The development of smaller, better designed catheters and stents that are easier to manipulate has allowed us to use the radial approach for most catheter-based procedures,” Applegate said.

Although transradial catheterizations only make up about 10 percent of procedures in the United States, Wake Forest Baptist has been performing 70 percent of its catheterization procedures through the radial artery, totalling more than 2,000 procedures a year. With the addition of the Radial Lounge, the rate of these procedures will most likely increase to 90 percent, according to Applegate.

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