Dialysis access procedures allow you to receive life-sustaining hemodialysis. At South Florida Vascular Associates, the experienced team of caring providers performs dialysis access procedures at the state-of-the-art surgical suite in the Coconut Creek, Boynton Beach, and Plantation, Florida, offices. To learn more about dialysis access procedures, book your appointment online or call the office to schedule your consultation today.
A dialysis access procedure is a minimally invasive procedure that creates an access portal in your arm or leg. The access portal allows for hemodialysis, the process of removing and returning your blood to your body.
Most people in need of dialysis have late-stage kidney disease or are in kidney failure. Underlying health issues like uncontrolled diabetes and high blood pressure may lead to kidney problems and eventually the need for dialysis.
Your dialysis machine removes blood impurities and regulates fluid and chemical balances within your body, which is normally the job of healthy kidneys.
There are two types of dialysis access procedures, including:
A fistula links an artery and vein together.
A graft is usually an artificial tube that connects an artery and vein. Less commonly, a graft can come from either a piece of your own vein or an animal donor.
Generally, the South Florida Vascular Associates team recommends fistulas when possible. Grafts aren’t as strong as fistulas, and they’re more prone to infection.
But, if your vein can’t support a fistula, for example, if your vein is either blocked or too small, a graft can offer you the dialysis access you need.
South Florida Vascular Associates performs dialysis access procedures on site in the state-of-the-art surgical suite.
Before your procedure, you’ll have a complete exam and medical history review. You may need a blood flow test or a special X-ray called a venogram to assess your veins and blood flow and determine which ones can support a fistula or graft.
Prior to your surgery, the South Florida Vascular Associates team gives you detailed instructions to help you prepare. You’ll typically need to fast for eight hours before your procedure. The team may also recommend reducing or discontinuing certain medications temporarily.
Because you’ll receive either local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia, you’ll need to arrange for a family member or friend to come to the surgery center with you and drive you home after your procedure.
After a dialysis access procedure, your vein gradually grows stronger. With three to six months (a year at the most), your fistula fully matures, allowing for efficient dialysis.
With a graft, it usually takes two to six weeks to heal, at which time you can start using it for dialysis.
South Florida Vascular Associates offers vascular access procedures without a hospital stay. To learn more or schedule your procedure, call the office or book an appointment online now.