Various Types of Dialysis Access Options

How well are you informed on dialysis access types? Before settling on an access type, ensure you know how each one functions and what option best suits you. Evergreen Park dialysis access experts at Vascular Specialists are the dialysis masters when you need to maintain your kidney functions. With the newly FDA approved Ellipsys dialysis access system, you can commence your dialysis sessions earlier than you thought. The team at the facility will also offer their patients regular monitoring and maintenance of their dialysis access.    

What is dialysis access?

Dialysis is a medical procedure that entails removing waste products, toxins, and solutes from your blood when your kidneys cannot perform their functions naturally. Since the process is done several hours and multiple times in a week, an easily accessible access point is needed. Through the access point, your doctor tries to find a connection to your blood inside the vessels. The three different types of access points for hemodialysis are catheter, fistula, and graft.

What is dialysis fistula and where is it placed?

An AV fistula is placed on your arm or leg if necessary, joins your artery to your vein using your tissues. The procedure takes approximately six months before you commence your dialysis sessions. The fistula is the most preferred dialysis access point because it is durable, and you will be at minimal risk of infection or complications. With an AV fistula put, blood flows directly from your artery into your vein, increasing your blood pressure and blood flowing through the vein. Eventually, you will notice that your fistula gets bigger than usual because the AV fistula causes high pressure and extra blood flowing into your vein, making it strong and big.

Is dialysis painful?

Though it is less prone to infection than the other dialysis access types, your doctor will advise you to maintain proper hygiene. You are recommended to look out for redness and swelling on your access point. If you experience any pain or swelling, inform your doctor.

What is a dialysis graft?

This is a dialysis access point made by joining your artery to your vein using an artificial tube made of either plastic or synthetic materials. A graft will be your recommended option if you begin dialysis soon because it takes approximately 3-6 weeks to heal. The graft is also good if your veins are thin or blocked by scarring.

What is a dialysis catheter?

This access point is made by placing an artificial tube in your large veins, usually placed inside your neck vein.

What is the Ellipsys dialysis access system?

The Ellipsys is a new FDA approved access system. It is a non-surgical and minimally invasive procedure that creates a fistula in a short time, approximately 17minutes. Unlike the AV fistula, the Ellipsys dialysis access system can be utilized within weeks and not months on inception. 

Can your kidneys function properly again after dialysis?

Your kidneys usually start working efficiently within weeks or months of successful treatment of your underlying causes. However, if your kidneys fail, you could either depend on dialysis for the rest of your life or go for a transplant. 

For more information on dialysis access types, contact Vascular Specialists experts.

News Reporter