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Vascular Access

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What Does "Vascular Access" Mean?

If you are on hemodialysis, a vascular access is the site from which blood can be safely removed and returned to your body. There are both temporary and permanent vascular accesses.

What Is the Best Type of Vascular Access?

An arterial venous fistula (AV Fistula) is a type of vascular access that involves a direct connection between an artery and a vein. The AV Fistula is considered the best access for most patients because it:

  • has fewer infections
  • reduces hospitalizations
  • lasts longer
  • provides better blood flow than other accesses

Where Do You Go to Start Getting an AV Fistula?

  • Talk to your nephrologist
  • Get a referral to an experienced vascular (blood vessel) surgeon
  • Ask your surgeon if 'vein mapping' (ultrasonic test and physical assessment of arteries and veins) would be helpful
  • Ask your surgeon about doing a 'venogram' (x-ray of the blood vessels)

Benefits of Having a Permanent Access
This document outlines the many benefits patients have shared for having a permanent dialysis access.

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