Dialysis Access Specialist

Vascular and Vein Institute of the South

Vascular Surgery located in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas

If you have kidney disease and need dialysis treatment to clean your blood, the first step is to establish safe dialysis access. With locations in Germantown and Memphis in Tennessee, Southaven, and Senatobia in Mississippi, and West Memphis in Arkansas, Vascular and Vein Institute of the South offers expert dialysis access surgery. Call Vascular and Vein Institute of the South or schedule a consultation online today to find out which type of dialysis access is right for you.

Dialysis Access Q & A

What is dialysis access surgery?

The team at Vascular and Vein Institute of the South offers several dialysis access surgery options, including arterio-venous (AV) fistula placement and fistulograms, with angioplasty and stenting.

AV fistula placement

An AV fistula connects an artery directly to a vein, usually in your arm. An AV fistula increases the blood flow between the connected artery and vein. The higher volume of blood flow enlarges and strengthens your vein enough to support dialysis treatment. AV fistulas tend to last longer than other types of dialysis access and are less vulnerable to infection and clotting. 

Fistulogram with angioplasty and stenting

Long-term dialysis treatment can make the lining of your blood vessels thicken to the point where your circulation is limited enough to make dialysis difficult. During a fistulogram, the team at Vascular and Vein Institute of the South uses a particular type of X-ray to locate the narrowed section of the vein. 

The team uses angioplasty — a minimally invasive procedure that uses a balloon catheter — to gently expand the narrowed blood vessel. If necessary, they place a stent in your blood vessel to hold it open. 

How should I prepare for dialysis access surgery?

You have a presurgical consultation at Vascular and Vein Institute of the South before you have dialysis access surgery. The team provides personalized instructions to prepare for your operation. 

In most cases, you need to fast for eight hours before your operation. Make sure your doctor knows about any medications, supplements, or vitamins you regularly take as you might need to stop taking some medicines for a few weeks before your procedure. 

Dialysis access surgery is usually an outpatient procedure that only takes a few hours. You will need a friend or family member to drive you home after your operation. 

What should I expect after dialysis access surgery?

When your dialysis access surgery is complete, the team at Vascular and Vein Institute of the South gives you instructions on how to care for and monitor your access. 

You can reduce your risk of irritation or infection by avoiding tight clothes or jewelry. You should also avoid sleeping on your access or carrying anything heavy with that arm. If you need to have your blood pressure checked or a blood draw, request that your provider use the opposite arm.

If you’re looking for an expert vascular surgeon for dialysis access surgery, call Vascular and Vein Institute of the South or make an appointment online today.