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Phoenix, AZ 85027
How are Interventional Radiologists involved in Dialysis Access?
The AV fistulas and AV grafts tend to narrow over time. Scar tissue builds up in the fistulas and grafts, causing the flow to decrease. Ultrasound is used to identify a decrease in blood flow. Interventional Radiologists can keep a close eye on the graft or fistula, and if scar tissue builds up, treatment is painless and minimally invasive. If the scar tissue is not detected and treated, it can lead to complete blockage and clotting of the graft/fistula. Interventional Radiologists are also experts at re-opening clotted/blocked fistulas and grafts, although we prefer to keep close follow up so we can make sure that it doesn’t get to this point.
How do you establish dialysis access?
You can establish dialysis access one of four ways:
1. A tunneled catheter in your neck.
2. AV Fistula, the vascular surgeon, will take a piece of vein from your leg or arm then sew it into a nearby artery.
3. An AV graft, if your veins are too small for an AV fistula, a graft is used by Interventional Radiologists. Instead of using the body’s blood vessel a prosthetic graft is sewn between an artery and vein in your arm or leg.
4. Peritoneal Dialysis, a small tube (Cannula), is placed in your abdomen to allow the use of the lining of the abdomen (peritoneum) to filter your blood.
What is Dialysis Access?
The first step to clean and filter your blood if your kidneys fail is establishing dialysis access.
What is Arteriovenous (AV)?
Arteriovenous or AV refers to blood flowing from the artery to the vein.
What is an AV Fistula?
The link is formed using the body’s natural tissue & blood vessels (joins existing artery to vein).
What is an AV Graft?
The link is formed using plastic or silicon material (plastic tube connects an artery to a vein).
How do you determine the best place to establish access?
Ultrasound is used to determine the best place to establish access, also known as Vessel Mapping.
What is Vessel Mapping?
This ultrasound procedure is performed by Interventional Radiologists to see your veins & arteries. Vessel mapping will help your doctor determine the best place for Dialysis Access.
What is the best Dialysis Access option for me?
The best place for dialysis access will vary from patient to patient. There are multiple factors to consider, including; risk of infection, transportation, maintenance, among many others. For example, Peritoneal Dialysis can be a convenient option for a patient who wants to stay home. However, this access type requires several exchanges, and the tube can become clogged. The type of dialysis: Peritoneal Dialysis or Hemodialysis will also factor into the best place for access. Therefore, you should always consult a healthcare professional or your primary care physician to discuss treatment options for you.
Can you help me schedule a consultation to discuss Dialysis Access?
Yes, to schedule a consultation or for more information about Dialysis Access, please call 602-246-8818 or check out our General Inquiries page.
The information contained on VIPhysicians.com is not intended and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. It is very important that individuals with specific medical problems or questions consult with their doctor or primary care physician.