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What Is Dialysis Access Management?

Dialysis access management refers to creating and maintaining an opening in your blood vessels through which your blood is connected to a tube and cleansed via an artificial kidney. 

If you’ve been recommended dialysis, you may need to see a vein specialist to create access to your veins. Veins specialists also remove clots from veins and treat infections and low blood flow.

From our expert at i-Vascular Center, Dr. Anwar S. Gerges, here’s everything you need to know about dialysis access management. 

Different types of dialysis management procedures

A dialysis fistula procedure involves linking a vein to an artery without the use of any plastic materials. It takes approximately a month for a vein attached to an artery to become enlarged and allow access with needles. 

Fistulas can last up to 10 years. For this reason, fistulas are a popular choice among patients who are in need of dialysis.

Dialysis catheter placement involves the introduction of two plastic tubes joined together. One tube is used to expel the blood-filled with toxins, while the other tube carries the filtered blood back to the body. 

As they carry a higher risk of infections, catheters aren’t meant to be a permanent type of access. Instead, they’re used on patients who need emergency dialysis and don’t have fistulas or grafts. 

A graft is a surgical procedure that involves the use of a woven plastic tube used to link an artery to a vein in the arm. This procedure is usually done on patients with veins too small for a fistula. 

Treating dysfunctional vascular accesses 

For patients with vascular accesses that aren't performing optimally, Dr. Gerges may use contrast dyes or x-rays to detect blockages or narrowing. If he detects narrowing, he may use an inflatable balloon that inflates or deflates to increase blood flow through the blood vessel. 

For blood clots, there are two treatment options: using a substance to dissolve the blood cloth or breaking up and removing the blood clot mechanically.

Learn how to protect your veins and ensure your dialysis sessions are effective 

Optimally-functioning vascular access is what allows the dialysis machine to cleanse all the toxins from your blood. 

If you have any questions with regards to how to prepare for dialysis, or if you want to make sure your blood vessels are in good shape, contact us to schedule an appointment. Dr. Gerges uses minimally invasive procedures for vascular access management, and he is more than happy to answer all of your questions.

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