Dialysis and Access Interventions are minimally invasive procedures performed to improve blood flow in the graft and fistula placed in the blood vessels of dialysis patients. Dialysis allows people with kidney failure (renal failure) a chance to live productive lives. When kidney function decreases to a critical level or complications arise, a person may need to start dialysis. It involves a special machine and tubing that removes blood from the body, cleanses it of waste and extra fluid and then returns it back to the body.
Your doctor may recommend a Dialysis and Access Intervention to treat:
– Narrowing of dialysis fistula or grafts. When there is decreased flow in a graft or fistula, angioplasty or angioplasty with Vascular Stenting may be performed.
– Thrombosis of dialysis fistulas or grafts. When blood does not flow smoothly, it can begin to coagulate, turning from a free-flowing liquid to a semi-solid gel, called a blood clot or thrombus. When blood clots in a fistula or graft prevent dialysis from being performed, catheter-directed thrombolysis with clot-dissolving drugs may be performed.
In these procedures, X-ray imaging equipment, a balloon catheter, catheter, guide wire, sheath, stent and a medical device that dissolves blood clots may be used:
– A balloon catheter – is a long, thin plastic tube with a tiny balloon at its tip.
– A stent – is a small, wire mesh tube.
There also are medical devices that can be used to dissolve the clots mechanically. Your interventional radiologist will decide which technique is most appropriate for you.