Before patients needing hemodialysis for kidney failure can begin treatment, specialists must create an access to reach large volumes of blood for dialysis filtering.
Blank Vascular Center physicians perform several different types of hemodialysis access. Our vascular team works with Abington – Jefferson Health’s Nephrology Department, as well as with outpatient hemodialysis units, to coordinate the care of dialysis patients.
Hemodialysis Access Procedures
Fistula access connects an artery to a nearby vein. It must be performed weeks or months before needed to ensure a properly enlarged vein.
When a fistula is not possible, graft access attaches a man-made tube between an artery and vein. Grafts can be ready for dialysis in a few weeks. Central vein access – inserting a catheter into a neck vein – is used if fistulas or grafts are not appropriate.
Our specialists usually create hemodialysis access in the arm. All methods require a short hospital stay.