Dialysis is one of the major treatments available to patients with damaged kidneys. In this treatment, a machine is used to filter and purify the patient's blood. This helps keep your electrolytes and fluids in the patient's body balanced when their kidneys fail to do their job.
Any patient suffering from kidney failure and who needs dialysis requires minor surgery to place the dialysis access in their body. Dialysis access allows blood to travel through tubes to the dialysis machine where it is cleaned.
For dialysis patients, dialysis access is of critical importance as it enables them to obtain the best dialysis treatment possible. Any problem with dialysis access can become dangerous to the patient. If the patient has a graft failure from thrombosis, the following are the clinical indications:
Dialysis access ultrasound is a test used to monitor dialysis accesses and detect any potential problems with them. This type of test is important to make sure the AV-grafts and AV-fistulas are functioning properly. For example, dialysis access ultrasound can identify stenosis in the graft or fistula that can negatively affect their proper functioning.
If you need to get a dialysis access ultrasound done, please contact us at 770-336-7710 or visit one of our four locations in Johns Creek, Roswell, Lawrenceville, and Cumming to book an appointment.
An AV-fistula is created by connecting a vein to an artery directly. This procedure is often done in your non-dominant arm. As a result, the arterial blood flows into the vein, causing it to enlarge. This enlarged portion is then used for the dialysis. On the other hand, an AV-graft consists of a synthetic tube that is implanted under the skin. This tube connects between the artery and the vein and is used to place the needle for dialysis.
The most common problem associated with a fistula or graft is stenosis or narrowing of the blood vessels concerned, leading to insufficient blood flow through them. Another common issue is clotting that may also cause decreased blood flow.
There can be multiple reasons behind stenosis, such as scarring of the blood vessels at the access site. Scars can also appear as a result of repeated blood draws.
Setting up dialysis access is an invasive surgical procedure done by a team of nephrologists, interventional radiologists, and surgeons.
Not every patient can have an AV fistula. For patients whose veins are damaged by previous needle sticks for IV fluids, blood work, and medicines, creating an AV fistula is impossible due to the scar tissues formed in the veins.