AV Fistula Surgery Performed Here at Our Tampa Vascular Clinic Helps Make Future Dialysis Treatments Easier
AV Fistula for dialysis surgery helps make your future dialysis treatments safer, quicker, and more efficient. If you have had a kidney transplant, or if you are suffering from kidney failure you will have to go through dialysis on a regular basis.
During the process of dialysis blood flows out of your body through a tube and into a dialysis machine where it is “cleaned” then returned to your body through another tube.
The access points of these two tubes are called access portals and they are usually in the forearm. These dialysis access portals must be established by a vascular surgeon.
How Is The AV Fistula Surgery Performed?
At The Vein and Vascular Institute of Tampa Bay, our Board Certified Vascular Surgeons have extensive experience in creating dialysis access portals for patients who need dialysis treatment on a regular basis.
Using the latest and most advanced endovascular surgery methods available anywhere in the world, our board certified vascular surgeons now perform percutaneous fistula surgery where the fistula is created through a simple poke of a needle without the need for general anesthesia or surgery.
This procedure is safer and quicker for the patient and is performed on an outpatient basis so patients can go home and recover right after the procedure.
There are two different kinds of portals that can be put in place under the skin’s surface. One is called an Arteriovenous Fistula (or AV Fistula, also known as a Hemodialysis Fistula) and the other is called an Arteriovenous Graft (or AV Graft).
An arteriovenous fistula for dialysis is created when the vascular surgeon connects one of your arteries to one of your veins. When the artery is connected to the vein more blood volume is allowed to flow through the vein. In response to this, your vein stretches and it becomes stronger.
During the next few weeks after the AV fistula surgery, the fistula starts to mature and the vein increases in size and may look like a rope under your skin. This is the desired result because now more blood can flow through that vein and will help make your future dialysis treatments more efficient.
How Soon Can I Start Dialysis?
Typically, it can take between 3 to 6 months for the fistula to mature to a point where the vein is large enough and strong enough for dialysis technicians to insert the dialysis needle without a problem.
AV Graft Surgery
An arteriovenous graft for dialysis is created when your vascular surgeon connects one of the arteries in your forearm to one of the veins in your forearm using a man-made tube, made of plastic or other synthetic material, instead of using your own tissue.
Within 2 to 6 weeks after the AV graft surgery, and after it has healed, the graft will be ready for the dialysis process.
AV Grafts are used instead of AV fistulas when there is blockage in the vein or if the vein is too small to use. In general, fistulas are preferred to grafts since fistulas are constructed using your own tissue, which is more resistant to infection and more durable.
Fistula and Graft Surgery Recovery
Our vascular surgeons are able to construct the fistula or insert the graft through one small incision in your arm – usually the arm that you use the least.
Immediately after the dialysis access surgery, we instruct our patients to keep their arm raised above the heart in order to minimize pain and swelling.
If the patient experiences significant pain around the dialysis portal incision, pain medication can be prescribed.
We recommended to keep the incision dry for the first few days after surgery and the incision should not be scrubbed or soaked in water until it has healed completely. Also, nothing heavier than 20lbs should be lifted until healing is complete.
If you will be needing dialysis treatment, the Board Certified Vascular Surgeons at The Vein and Vascular Institute of Tampa Bay are experts in creating dialysis access portals that will make your dialysis treatments safer, faster, and more efficient.
To schedule an appointment for AV Fistula Surgery or AV Graft Surgery with one of our Tampa vascular surgeons, give us a call today at (813) 377-2773.