Fistula for Dialysis

Using an artery and a vein for ideal hemodialysis access

The failure of kidneys require dialysis. The kidneys cleanse your body of waste products and regulate the amount of water and certain chemicals in your blood. Fistula for dialysis involves using an artery and a vein sewn together, which makes it ideal for hemodialysis access.

What Are My Treatment Options for Dialysis?

Unfortunately, kidney failure is typically irreversible. One option is to have a kidney transplant, but even transplant recipients usually must temporarily undergo some form of dialysis. Dialysis is currently practiced in two forms: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.

What Are The Types of Dialysis Access Surgeries?

Hemodialysis requires access to the blood flowing inside your blood vessels so it can be withdrawn and cleansed. However, repeated needle puncture is very hard on veins and arteries. Special surgical techniques must be used to create an area that can be used for repeated blood access.

What Should I Expect During A Hemodialysis Session?

The first step is to make sure that the area where the needle will enter your skin is disinfected. The dialysis technologist should wash the site with soap and water, then rub a special antiseptic solution in a circular motion over the area selected. Once this has been done, don’t touch the area until after dialysis is complete. Remember that the needle breaks the skin, opening a door for infectious bacteria to enter. Absolute cleanliness is required to reduce your chances of infection.

The technologist will then insert the needles through your skin and into the graft or fistula. The needles are taped in place and connected to the lines of the dialysis machine and the dialysis process begins.

When your blood has been sufficiently cleansed of waste products, the technician will remove the needles. To stop the bleeding, the technologist may ask you to hold light pressure with a sterile pad. Use just enough pressure to stop the bleeding — too much force may slow the blood flow through the graft or vein and lead to problems.

What Are Some Reminders About Fistula for Dialysis?

Never…

Always…

What Are Some Warning Signs That A Doctor’s Care May Be Needed?