End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) is the irreversible loss of kidney function. The two most common causes are Hypertension (high blood pressure) and Diabetes. The treatment for ESRD is either Kidney Transplantation, or Dialysis and can be done through the Bloodstream (Hemodialysis). As Vascular Surgeons, we are asked by Kidney Doctors (Nephrologists) to provide the means (Access) by which Dialysis can be accomplished.

Hemodialysis, on the other hand is typically done in an Outpatient center, three times a week. In order for the dialysis machine to be able to clean the blood, a means of access to the blood stream that allows for high flow rates is required.

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A tube can be placed in the Jugular Vein in the neck (Perm-catheter), generally considered to be used for weeks to months. It is preferable however, for durable and prolonged function, to have the access in the arms.

There are two types of access for the arms: fistulas and grafts.

Fistulas involve connecting the patients own artery and vein, to create a high blood flow system.

There are typically three types of fistulas: Radio-cephalic, Brachio-cephalic, and Brachio-basilic transposition, named for the various connections.

The placement of an Arterio-Venous graft on the other hand, involves using an artificial tube that is connected to an artery and vein. Fistulas are generally preferable to grafts, and we as Surgeons, are always committed to whatever we can to place a fistula.

Your Questions Answered: Dialysis Access FAQs

Our vascular surgeons took the time to answer some of the most frequently asked questions we hear at our practice.

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At Vascular Specialists of Central Florida, our vascular specialists, clinical staff and administrative staff are highly trained and able to assist you throughout every aspect of your vascular care.

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