Dialysis is a procedure that routs blood through a dialysis machine. This machine filters the blood to remove waste and excess fluid. Then returns the blood to the body. Dialysis access management Is also known as dialysis access maintenance. It encompasses the interventions necessary to keep the dialysis process running smoothly. This includes dialysis fistula and graft decollating interventions.
Dialysis treats patients with renal/kidney failure or renal/kidney complications. This involves the use of artificial blood vessel connections. Dialysis access management ensures these blood vessel connections are in excellent working order. This helps facilitate the dialysis process.
This management prevents issues including clogging of the blood vessel connections. Clogs happen due to clots or coagulated blood. This causes the narrowing of the blood vessel connections which can occur over time.
To understand the dialysis access management process, you have to first understand dialysis. dialysis is for a patient whose kidneys are not working properly on their own. A doctor then creates access to their blood vessels to ease the blood filtering process. The blood filtering occurs through a dialysis machine. These blood vessel connections include fistulas. This involves joining an artery with a vein to create a higher blood flow. The blood vessels may use grafts. These are soft tubes placed between an artery and a vein to create a higher-flow blood vessel. Similar to the ones created by fistulas. Dialysis may use a catheter for access, which is when a narrow plastic tube in a larger vein in either the groin or neck.
Interventional radiology helps dialysis by keeping these connections healthy and functioning. They may include catheter-directed thrombolysis, catheter-directed mechanical thrombectomy, and angioplasty or vascular stenting.
Catheter-directed thrombolysis is medicine that dissolves blood clots. These blood clots may have built up in grafts and fistulas. Catheter-directed mechanical thrombectomy occurs when the blood clots are physically removed or broken up.
Angioplasty and/or vascular stenting is when mechanical devices including medical balloons widen the openings of grafts and fistulas. The aim is to help them remain open, facilitating better blood flow. After the balloons removal, small mesh tubes called stents may used in the grafts or fistulas. This provides extra support for keeping the connections open and flowing.
Our radiology team will discuss the management procedures the patient needs. It is important to know that these are minimally invasive, image guided procedures. Coastal Vascular Center’s goal is to provide excellent dialysis function and minimal disruption to the patient’s life.