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Vascular Access Work

Renal Clinic of Houston

Nephrology located in Katy, TX & Memorial City, Houston, TX

In order to undergo dialysis, you need vascular access. The highly skilled nephrologists at Renal Clinic of Houston, with offices in Katy, Cypress, Sealy, and Houston, Texas, provide vascular access work. They make referrals to vascular surgeons for placement of your vascular access and care for your vascular access afterward. To learn more about vascular access work at Renal Clinic of Houston, call the office nearest you or request an online appointment.

Vascular Access Work Q & A

What is vascular access?

Vascular access refers to the port needed for hemodialysis, a type of dialysis in which a machine removes blood from your body, cleans it, and returns it to your body.

Vascular access is the surgically made vein that allows the hemodialysis machine to remove and return blood during treatment.

There are two types of vascular access: 

Arteriovenous (AV) fistula

For an AV fistula, a vascular surgeon connects a vein and artery, creating a large and strong vein that provides easy and reliable access for hemodialysis. It takes two to three months for the AV fistula to develop before you can use it for hemodialysis.

AV graft

For an AV graft, the vascular surgeon uses a plastic tube to connect an artery and vein. An AV graft is a suitable substitute for an AV fistula but is more prone to blood clots and infections.

What is vascular access work?

Vascular access work refers to the general upkeep of your vascular access. The nephrologists at Renal Clinic of Houston monitor your kidney health and vascular access, ensuring it works as it should. 

They also care for problems you may have with your vascular access, like infections or problems involving blood flow.

When do I need vascular access work?

You need vascular access work if you have concerns about the function of your port or think you have an infection. Your nephrologist may also perform vascular access work during your regularly scheduled chronic kidney disease (CKD) follow-up visits.

The team at your dialysis center may also regularly monitor your vascular access and suggest a visit with your nephrologist if they have concerns about its function.

What happens during vascular access work?

The nephrologists at Renal Clinic of Houston discuss your vascular access and dialysis treatment. They examine the port and may flush the line with fluids to ensure it’s working. They also look for signs of infections and blood clots.

Your nephrologist also teaches you how to care for your vascular access at home to prevent problems. This includes instructions on how to clean your port, check the rhythmic vibration (thrill) over the vascular access, and watch for signs of infection (redness, swelling, pain).

To find out more about vascular access work at Renal Clinic of Houston, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.