If you’re one of the more than half a million women and men in the United States whose kidneys have failed, you need to maintain clean, clear access for your dialysis treatments. At Douglas Vascular Center in Douglas, Georgia, the vascular experts coordinate with your access surgeon, nephrologist, and other health care providers to maintain your dialysis access, remove clots, evaluate fistulas, and provide complete catheter services. The team, led by William H. Davis, MD, FACS, provides the most up to date imaging, diagnostics, and interventions to meet your dialysis access maintenance needs. Make an appointment by phone or book online.
If you have stage 5 kidney disease and need regular dialysis treatments, keeping your access clear is essential to staying healthy. The team at Douglas Vascular Center works with your nephrologist and surgeon to determine a schedule to evaluate your access regularly and intervene when necessary. Contact Douglas Vascular Center if you can’t feel the vibration known as a “thrill” over your access.
Some fistulas and grafts can be evaluated with Duplex Ultrasound, a totally painless, non-invasive imaging technique that, in many cases, can help decide if treatment is needed.
Douglas Vascular Center could also recommend a special X-ray called a fistulagram if you have:
If you have a problem with your access, the team recommends therapies to resolve it.
If your surgeon created a fistula by joining a vein and artery to create access for your dialysis, your fistula needs to “mature” before you can undergo treatment. If your fistula hasn’t matured within 6-12 weeks, the team at Douglas Vascular Center uses ultrasound and X-rays to determine why. They may then perform angioplasty (balloon-assisted maturation) or coil embolization to reroute circulation to the fistula and aid its maturation.
If studies show stenosis (i.e., narrowing) in your access vein or artery, the Douglas Vascular Center surgeons clear the blockage. They may choose from:
A procedure where a balloon catheter opens the stenosis and is withdrawn.
A procedure in which a balloon opens a stent, which is left in place to keep the vessel open.
You’re given clot-dissolving medications injected into the blockage
A procedure where a catheter used to break up clots and blockages
The Douglas Vascular Center surgeons use X-ray and ultrasound-guided imaging to guide stenosis therapies.
If you need dialysis right away and can’t wait for your fistula or graft to mature, the Douglas Vascular Center surgeons create a temporary central venous access by placing a temporary catheter in your groin or neck. They use ultrasound guidance to choose the optimal location.
Douglas Vascular Center offers vein mapping with ultrasound and possibly with contrast dye also. Your surgeon, nephrologist, and dialysis access experts then develop a plan to ensure optimal placement of your fistula.
Contact the dialysis access experts at Douglas Vascular Center today, by phone or online form, for access maintenance.