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Dialysis Access

Vascular Surgery Associates, LLC

Vascular Surgery, Wound Care, and Podiatry located throughout Maryland and Newark, DE

People with end-stage kidney disease depend on dialysis to take over for their failing kidneys, keeping them healthy and able to enjoy life. Before receiving dialysis, however, they need dialysis access. The physicians at Vascular Surgery Associates, LLC, have extensive experience creating permanent dialysis access, making it easier for you to receive life-saving treatment. To schedule an appointment, use online booking or call one of the offices in Bel Air, Baltimore, Towson, Westminster, Elkton, Frederick, Ellicott City, Hampstead, Abingdon, Columbia, Lutherville, Severna Park, MD, Wilmington, and Newark, DE today.

Dialysis Access Q & A

Why do I need dialysis access for chronic kidney disease?

Chronic kidney disease occurs when something damages your kidneys. In many cases, the damage occurs due to chronic conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes. 

Once chronic kidney disease develops, the damage gets progressively worse. Over time, your kidneys stop functioning normally, and wastes and fluids build up in your body.

When your kidneys lose 85-90% of their function, you enter kidney failure or end-stage renal disease. At this stage, you need hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis to stay healthy. Before you can receive dialysis, you need dialysis access.

What type of dialysis access do I need for hemodialysis?

During hemodialysis, you or your provider place two needles into blood vessels in your arm. Each needle connects to a tube that runs to a machine called the dialyzer. One line carries blood to the dialyzer; the machine filters your blood and then returns blood to your body through the second tube.

For hemodialysis, your provider at Vascular Surgery Associates, LLC, creates dialysis access by connecting a vein to an artery. This connection creates an area where it’s easy to insert the needles. Additionally, the procedure makes the vein enlarge and thicken, allowing blood to flow faster.

You receive one of the following types of access:

Arteriovenous (AV) fistula

In this procedure, your provider connects the vein to the artery. Fistulas last longer than a graft, and they have a lower risk of clotting or developing an infection.

AV graft

Your provider connects the vein and artery using a prosthetic graft placed between the blood vessels. Though a graft has a higher risk of clotting, it may be the best option if you have small veins.

What type of dialysis access do I need for peritoneal dialysis?

To create dialysis access, your provider runs a catheter from inside your abdomen, under your skin, then outside the abdomen. The catheter stays in place so you can easily do your own peritoneal dialysis at home.

During peritoneal dialysis, you fill your abdomen with a specialized solution called dialysate. The fluid stays in your abdomen for a specific amount of time, allowing it to absorb wastes from your blood. Then you drain the fluid, which carries away the wastes.

For all types of dialysis access, the Vascular Surgery Associates team, LLC, provides ongoing maintenance, helping you prevent clotting and infections.

If you have questions about dialysis access, call Vascular Surgery Associates, LLC, or book an appointment online today.