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Dialysis Access Specialist

Vascular Surgery Medical Group

Vascular and Endovascular Surgery & Venous Physicians located in San Leandro, CA & San Ramon, CA

Dialysis is a medical treatment that helps remove toxins from your blood after kidney failure. Board-certified vascular surgeon Michael Ingegno, MD, Varinder Phangureh, MD Lamont Paxton, MD, Robert Gingery, MD, and Abid Mogannam, MD, at Vascular Surgery Medical Group have decades of experience providing dialysis access with a minimally invasive approach. Call your nearest office in San Leandro or San Ramon, California, or book an appointment online today to learn more about your options for dialysis access.

Dialysis Access Q & A

What is dialysis access?

Dialysis, also called hemodialysis, is a medical treatment for advanced kidney disease. You may need dialysis if your kidneys fail to perform their normal function of removing wastes and excess fluid from your blood. 

In order to receive dialysis, you must first undergo a dialysis access procedure. This creates a way for the dialysis machine to access your blood vessels. The skilled surgeons at Vascular Surgery Medical Group specialize in dialysis access surgeries.

What are the different types of dialysis access procedures?

The team at Vascular Surgery Medical Group provides vascular access using a variety of approaches, including:

Arteriovenous (AV) fistula

An AV fistula involves connecting an artery and a vein directly, usually in your arm. This is often the preferred method for dialysis access because it allows for many years of use with minimal risk of infection. 

However, an AV fistula isn’t possible for many people’s anatomy. Even when this approach is an option, the fistula takes weeks to months to mature enough for dialysis.

AV grafts

An AV graft connects an artery to a vein with a catheter, which is a soft plastic tube. Grafts require routine monitoring and upkeep, but they are a good option for people who aren’t good candidates for an AV fistula. 

Venous catheter

This approach allows people who need dialysis right away to receive immediate treatment. The surgeon places a temporary catheter into a vein in the neck, chest, or upper leg. They can use this catheter for dialysis while a graft or fistula heals. 

What should I expect from a dialysis access procedure?

First, your Vascular Surgery Medical Group provider performs a thorough physical exam and reviews your medical history. They consider your unique anatomy and the severity of your condition to determine the best approach to dialysis access for you.

Depending on your needs, you may get local, regional, or general anesthesia before surgery. Then, your surgeon carefully performs a fistula, graft, or catheter procedure, using minimally invasive surgical techniques whenever possible. 

After the procedure, your surgeon provides you with detailed instructions on how to care for your wound. The time it takes before you can start dialysis depends on the type of access procedure you have, but may range from a few weeks to months.

If you need dialysis access, call Vascular Surgery Medical Group, or book an appointment online today.