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Dialysis - The importance of AV fistula

Reviewed by
Dr. Prashant C Dheerendra 91% (35 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine, DM - Nephrology
Nephrologist, Bangalore  •  16 years experience
Dialysis -  The importance of AV fistula

Dialysis is usually required for people who develop advanced stage kidney failure. In this procedure, a machine performs the functions of a kidney; i.e. cleansing the blood of impurities. Before a patient goes through dialysis, he/she has to go through a surgical procedure AV fistula or arteriovenous fistula creation. AV fistula makes the performance of dialysis much easier. 

Other diagnostic tests required before a dialysis: 

Ultrasound scanning of the blood vessels to check their size Venogram in some cases when ultrasound cannot give full information. 

What happens during the procedure? 

During the surgery, the patient is administered the required anesthesia. This procedure doesn’t require an overnight stay. The purpose of AV fistula is to connect a large vein in the arm to the nearby artery. The surgeon either joins an artery to the vein, or he/she uses an artificial graft so that the fistula is created. This is usually done for patients who are weak or have an advanced vascular disease. After the AV fistula is administered, the new connection starts to strengthen. After a few weeks, the AV fistula is able to take a dialysis needle. This is when dialysis is initiated. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Nephrologist.

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