According to the American Kidney Fund, more than 800,000 Americans live with kidney failure. High blood pressure or high blood glucose puts you at more risk of kidney disease, which exposes you to numerous complications, including fluid retention, hyperkalemia, heart disease, anemia, pregnancy issues, and decreased immune system response. Therefore, you may need to consult a kidney specialist if you require dialysis and determine the right Evergreen Park dialysis access. Dialysis, also known as hemodialysis, is a treatment that your doctor often may recommend as it enables the removal of waste products and excess fluids from your body when the kidneys stop functioning properly.

Dialysis is a treatment that involves passing your blood through a machine to filter it and prevent waste products in your blood from reaching toxic levels. Your health provider needs access to your blood to enable its filtering and purification before returning it to your body. Therefore, dialysis or hemodialysis access is a way to reach your blood for dialysis.

Below are two broad things you may need to know about dialysis or hemodialysis access.

  1. Types of dialysis access

Generally, there are three types of vascular or dialysis access.

An arteriovenous (AV) fistula is an irregular connection between a vein and an artery, allowing blood to flow directly between the two blood vessels.

An AV fistula access involves surgically joining a vein and an artery under the skin in your arm to enable dialysis access.

Your doctor may also rely on a central venous catheter. This dialysis access involves a surgeon surgically connecting the vein in your neck, upper leg, or chest with a soft, flexible tube to access your blood temporarily.

  1. Advantages and disadvantages of dialysis access options

A fistula is the best dialysis access as it provides good blood flow, increasing the treatment’s effectiveness and also helps in reducing your risk of infections. Furthermore, AV fistulas can provide dialysis access for many years if you observe proper care.

However, someone other than you may be the right candidate for an arteriovenous (AV) fistula. Moreover, it takes several weeks to form a fistula.

A graft forms access to your blood that your doctor can use multiple times. One of the advantages of graft is that it takes a shorter time to develop, unlike AV fistula. Nonetheless, grafts put you at higher risk of blood clots and infections, unlike fistulas.

The benefit of a catheter is that your doctor can use it immediately after its surgical placement. But, your doctor will need to use a catheter only for a short time. Catheter use in the long term puts you at risk of infections and narrow and damaged blood vessels. Additionally, you may be unable to swim or shower when catheterized.

Help your dialysis access function properly and longer by adhering to your doctor’s instructions.

You will need to monitor your blood flow, avoid extracting blood from your arm with dialysis access, and avoid exerting pressure on the access location. Hence, refrain from carrying or lifting heavy objects, wearing tight clothes, or wearing jewelry.

Whenever you realize a clotting or infection, seek medical care immediately.

Contact Vascular Specialists today to schedule an appointment with Vascular Specialists and learn more about your access options.