Medical Breakthroughs

Learn about six of the latest trends in health care and the leading Valley doctors who perform them

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A new route for cardiac treatment

There’s a new twist on cardiac catheterization, a common medical procedure that’s used to help unplug clogged arteries.
Ordinarily, a tiny tube, or catheter, is placed into the body through an artery in the groin, then snaked up to the arteries surrounding the heart. This is known as the transfemoral approach. After the catheter is in place, physicians can perform an angioplasty. During this procedure, a tiny balloon-like device is inserted to open the blocked artery further; sometimes a stent (a tiny mesh tube) is placed in the artery to help keep blood flowing smoothly.

Nirav D. Shah, M.D., a cardiologist at St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital in Newburgh, is one of the first physicians in the Valley to perform transradial catheterization — a technique that bypasses the groin and instead uses an artery in the wrist as the entry point for the catheter. First performed in 1989, the technique became popular first in Europe and Canada, and is now catching on across the U.S.

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