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Published on October 22, 2013

Innovative Cardiac Cath Technique Reduces Recovery Time for Blanchard Man

Alan CampAlan Camp didn’t view his retirement as an excuse to sit still. Instead, the former business owner saw retirement as more time to hit the open road. In recent years he’s ridden more than 20 miles multiple times each week on his bicycle, even pedaling his age in miles on his birthdays – 68 and 69 miles in successive years. He also owns two motorcycles. 

So when Camp, who has a history of heart trouble, felt chest pain following a bicycle ride in August of 2013, the lifelong Blanchard resident checked himself into MidMichigan Medical Center in Gratiot. He recognized that the situation, if left unchecked, could do more than bring his mobile lifestyle to a screeching halt. 

MidMichigan staff discovered that a heart attack was imminent for Camp. “They said I had all the classic symptoms,” he said.

Camp was transferred to MidMichigan Medical Center in Midland, where he was scheduled for cardiac catheterization the next day. He was no stranger to the procedure, which is used to diagnose and treat cardiovascular conditions – he’d had it twice before. But this time, Camp was offered radial catheterization, which would prove to be a very different experience.  

During a radial cardiac catheterization, the thin, flexible tube used to find and treat arterial blockages is inserted through the wrist, rather than near the groin as in the femoral technique Camp experienced previously.

The procedure, which was performed by Interventional Cardiologist Rodney Diehl, D.O., went smoothly, as he located the problem area and performed angioplasty to open the artery and remove the blockage.

“I was impressed by the radial procedure’s comfort and convenience. The relief was immediate,” Camp said. “If I had a choice, I would select the radial technique over the femoral one. It’s less invasive and a much better experience overall.”

“Before, when they’d go through the groin, I had to lie still for hours afterward with a weight on the incision,” added Camp. “I couldn’t cough, sneeze, wiggle or anything.”

Through the radial technique, he was able to quickly return to his natural state – in motion. “They have a pressure bandage they inflate with air, very minimal,” he said. “It’s like a Band-Aid on your wrist. I was on my feet within 30 minutes. It was just awesome. It’s amazing how much easier it is to deal with.”

Camp came away from his experience at MidMichigan pleased not only with the comfort of his procedure, but also with the whole patient experience.

“Unlike some doctors, Dr. Diehl spent time talking to me,” he said. “And Ken VanSumeren, the physician assistant, came back after my ultrasound quite excited and said my heart had bounced back.”

Camp had no residual discomfort after the procedure and is currently participating in cardiac rehabilitation to strengthen his heart.

MidMichigan Health offers a full array of heart and vascular services, including open heart surgery, vascular surgery, electrophysiology for heart rhythm problems and advanced interventional procedures. Those who would like additional information on Dr. Diehl and other members of MidMichigan’s comprehensive cardiovascular team may call MidMichigan Health Line at (800) 999-3199.