Arteriovenous Fistula - Vein Graft Procedures


When a person's kidneys fail, dialysis is often required if transplantation cannot be performed. Dialysis can be performed using the abdominal cavity (peritoneal dialysis) or by filtering the blood. In turn, blood for filtration can be obtained via a catheter or arteriovenous fistula (AV fistula). Catheters can be placed on short notice but have a short usable life-span and are difficult to care for. By contrast, a fistula requires surgery and cannot be used until they heal, but can last for years. Your nephrologist has recommended hemodialysis via a surgically constructed AV fistula. Many types of fistulas are possible, but it is best to use your own veins and arteries and stay as far out on the arm as possible. The purpose of today's visit is to discuss the mechanics of surgery and to identify the best possible site(s) for fistula creation, as well as to discuss tentative plans for future fistulas.