Hemodialysis Access Maintenance Q & A
What is Hemodialysis Access Maintenance?
In the late stages of chronic kidney disease, regular hemodialysis performs the job of the damaged kidneys. It is imperative that the access site, called a fistula or graft, is not clotted, so dialysis can be performed. This is where maintenance comes in.
What are warning signs that my fistula or graft may be clotted?
- Difficulty placing needles for dialysis
- Alarms sounding during dialysis
- Inadequate dialysis
- Cold or painful hand
- Swelling in arm or hand during dialysis
What tests are performed?
Our doctors here at VHI may perform a fistulagram to check blood flow through the fistula and pressure in the vein. A fistulagram is a minimally invasive procedure that allows him to see inside the access site using image-guidance/flouroscopy.
How are clots and blockages treated?
If the doctor discovers a clot, the doctor may perform thrombectomy to remove blood clots and/or venous angioplasty and stenting to ensure the blood vessels stays open for dialysis access.