When you are diagnosed with kidney failure, dialysis is the lifesaving treatment procedure that your doctor will recommend. However, for the procedure to be performed, dialysis access is necessary. The Heart Vascular & Leg Center’s team of cardiologists and vascular experts offer four different types of dialysis access in Bakersfield; forming a lifeline to help you obtain the best treatment possible.

Central Venous Catheter (CVC)

This dialysis access involves threading a long, flexible, y-shaped plastic tube through your skin into a central vein in your groin, neck, or chest. This type of dialysis access is designed to be a permanent type and will be administered when you need immediate dialysis and/or if you are unable to receive either a graft or AV fistula.

A CVC is quick to place and remove, and can be used immediately for dialysis. You get access through an outpatient procedure, meaning it’s not complicated and you can go home immediately following the procedure. While swimming and bathing may be restricted afterwards, this procedure may cause damage to your central nerves and may also increase the length of your hemodialysis.

Whether you get permanent or temporal CVC, your provider will help you learn how to properly use and maintain it through care instructions. Just be sure to strictly adhere to your provider’s recommendations.

AV Fistula

This type of dialysis access is the most common among other types of hemodialysis, and is an actual surgical procedure that creates a connection between an artery and a vein. In most cases, this access is created in your non-dominant arm, although it can also be done on your leg. Through this access, the veins’ blood flow rate is increased, enlarging and strengthening the vein. This will allow a higher rate of blood to flow into the dialysis machine.

Unlike the CVC, you will have to wait for several months after the access is created for you to use it. This is to allow enough time for it to heal and mature. As a result, you will have to take care of the access by paying close attention to ensure it functions optimally. You will also want to check for signs of infection, sounds of blood flowing, vibrations, and make regular reports to your provider.

AV Graft

This function is similar to the AV fistula, only it works for treating damaged or blocked veins that are too small for a fistula. This procedure involves connecting one end of a small hollow synthetic tube to your vein, while the other end is connected to your artery. The care for this access is similar to the care you give to the AV fistula.

PD Catheter

This access involves the use of peritoneal dialysis, which cleans your blood using the lining of your belly and a dialysate solution. If you are always on the go, this access method can be desirable for you. This access makes it possible for you to perform dialysis at home and generally takes less time to complete. However, this option may not be the best one if you have an inflammatory bowel disease, large surgical scars on your belly, and/or recurrent diverticulitis.

This type of access also requires specialized care, as it is associated with a high risk of infection. Therefore, be sure to carefully follow your doctor’s instructions.

If you have yet to undergo a dialysis, Heart Vascular & Leg Center’s team of dialysis access specialists can help you determine which type best suits you. Therefore, don’t hesitate to contact them for more information.

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When you are diagnosed with kidney failure, dialysis is the lifesaving treatment procedure that your doctor will recommend. However, for the procedure to be performed, dialysis access is necessary. The Heart Vascular & Leg Center’s team of cardiologists and vascular experts offer four different types of dialysis access in...