Chronic kidney disease and acute renal failure may cause the kidneys to lose their ability to filter and remove waste and extra fluid from the body. If your kidneys fail, you will need a life-saving treatment called “hemodialysis” to take over the kidneys’ job. Hemodialysis is a process that uses a machine with a membrane (dialyzer) to remove wastes from the blood, restore the proper balance of electrolytes in the blood and eliminate extra fluid from the body (What our kidneys would normally do if working properly).
For a successful hemodialysis session, you will need what is called a “Hemodialysis Access”. The access can be one of three options:
1- Large catheter or tube inserted into a major vein (Usually in the neck)
2- forearm or upper arm arteriovenous fistula creation
3- An arteriovenous graft implanted in the body and connecting one of the veins to the arteries.
The dialysis nurses would then connect your access to the dialysis machine, a process that involves rapid flow of blood out of the body to the machine where it gets filtered and then returned back to the body. This would have to be repeated regularly about 3 times a week. Having a good and well functioning hemodialysis access is of paramount importance for a successful dialysis treatment.
Our practice takes special pride in providing an extensive vascular surgical expertise in the field of “Hemodialysis Access” placement and maintenance. We implant the access and perform routine and regular angioplasty procedures (as needed) to keep the access patent and functional for dialysis purposes.