Click on the questions to reveal answers.
Q: Who performs procedures at the Dialysis Access Center? [+/-]
A: Board-certified vascular surgeons perform all procedures.
Q: What type of anesthesia is given during the procedure? [+/-]
A: The type of anesthesia used depends on the area and length of the procedure as well as the patient's physical health and history. Local anesthetics are used during the procedure to reduce or prevent pain in the specific area.
Q: Will I miss a dialysis treatment? [+/-]
A: The procedure is outpatient and will be performed on a non-dialysis treatment days. Treatments will not be missed.
Q: Is it true that catheters have high infection rates? [+/-]
A: Catheters are not ideal for permanent access. They can clog, become infected and cause narrowing of the veins in which they are placed. But if you need to start hemodialysis immediately, a catheter will work for several weeks or months while your permanent access develops.
Q: Does the Dialysis Access Center provide transportation? [+/-]
A: Yes, we provide transportation to and from Sinai Hospital. Patients can be picked up and returned home or to and from the dialysis center.
Q: What is a vascular access, and what is its purpose? [+/-]
A: People who undergo hemodialysis need a way to access their blood. The vascular access allows the patient’s blood to travel to and from the dialysis machine at a large volume and high speed so that toxins, waste and extra fluid can be removed from the body.
Each vascular access is created surgically. There are a limited number of places on the body where an access can be placed—the arms, legs, neck or chest. The most common vascular access is an AV fistula which is surgically created by connecting an artery and vein. When these two vessels are connected, the vein grows larger and are able to handle more blood volume. Usually an AV fistula is made in the arm or leg so it is easily accessible for dialysis treatment. After several weeks or months, the fistula matures, making it ready to use for hemodialysis.
Q: If the AV fistula is best, why do people have AV grafts and catheters? [+/-]
A:Some patients may not be able to have an AV fistula because their arteries and veins are not large enough. In these cases an AV graft may be chosen, as it uses a synthetic tube to connect the patient’s artery and vein. This creates an enlarged area for blood to flow through.