If your kidneys are no longer sufficiently cleaning your blood, then dialysis may be required. Dialysis is where your blood is pumped from your bloodstream into a machine that filters it before it returns it to your body.
For dialysis to occur, access to your bloodstream is needed. This is called vascular access surgery.
The four types of vascular access surgery are:
- Central Venous Catheter – this is a temporary tube that is inserted into one of your large veins.
- Peritoneal Catheter – this is a tube that is inserted into your peritoneal cavity and remains in place until peritoneal dialysis is no longer required.
- Arteriovenous Fistula – where one of your arteries is joined to a vein. This enlarges the vein (called a Fistula) which is then used in your dialysis. Fistulas are usually in your upper or lower arm, or leg.
- Prosthetic Arteriovenous Graft – where one of your arteries is joined to a vein using an artificial tube. The blood in the artery flows into the graft which is then used in your dialysis. Arteriovenous grafts are usually at your arm or at the top of your leg.
Dr Williams will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of your different options with you during your appointment.