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femoral artery
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In order to enter the arterial system, a specialist will locate the common femoral artery where it lies anterior to the head of the femur (for example, during angiographic studies or selective arterial embolization). A hypodermic needle is inserted through the both the anterior and posterior walls of the artery, then withdrawn slightly so that the tip of the needle lies within the lumen of the artery and the guide wire and catheter are subsequently inserted. When withdrawing the catheter, the common femoral artery must be compressed against the femoral head to control bleeding.
Problems arise if the needle is inserted too far obliquely upward because the artery will not be able to be compressed against the femoral head. On the other hand if the needle is inserted too low it can enter the superficial femoral artery where it lies anterior to the superficial femoral vein; piercing of this vein may lead to development of an arteriovenous fistula.
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