Auckland Vascular And Varicose Vein Clinic With Over 25 Years Of Experience

Renal Dialysis

Fistula for dialysis


Patients with kidney failure need dialysis to remove by products from their blood stream and help fluids and electrolyte balance in their body. There 2 main methods of dialysis through the blood stream (haemodialysis) or through the fluid in their abdomen(peritoneal dialysis)

The vascular surgeon provides the haemodialysis access by creating a fistula where a vein is attached to an artery usually in the upper limb. This creates an AV fistula and the vein enlarges and developes a thicker, stronger wall enabling needles to be placed for dialysis.

Fistula surgery is usually performed at the wrist, elbow or upper arm and requires a preoperative scan to decide the best site. Fistula maturation usually takes a minimum of 6 weeks, sometimes longer. Occasionally the fistula may not fully mature for a number of reasons and may require angioplasty(balloon assisted dilatation) or more surgery.


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