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Hemodialysis can be necessary when managing other diseases like kidney disease and diabetes. Dialysis access is a critical part of the process as it creates the portal in which blood gets out and into your body. The Coconut Creek, FL nurse practitioner offers different dialysis access depending on the patient’s unique needs. Understanding dialysis access creation and management is critical as it is essential to your care. Here are some dialysis access facts you should know.

Different Techniques Can be Used

Your doctor can deliver dialysis access in three different ways. They can recommend arteriovenous fistula, which involves surgically joining your vein and artery beneath the skin in your arm. The technique is often referred to as AV fistula. Your doctor can also recommend a graft which involves making a graft by surgically connecting a soft tube to your vein and artery beneath the skin on your arm. It creates permanent access that can be accessed multiple times. Your provider can also use a catheter often connected in a large vein, particularly in your neck.

Risks are Involved

Creating dialysis access involves several risks for every technique used. The fistula access takes about 6-8 weeks to mature, and temporary access must be created until it is ready. Sometimes it might fail to mature, reversing the whole process. Also, not everybody can benefit from the technique. Grafts increase infection risks, and clot formation is also possible. Additionally, grafts might not work for every patient. The catheter is mostly used as temporary access in most cases. Long-term usage can cause complications like stenosis or damage to blood vessels. The fistula is considered safe overall due to its low risks of infection and longevity.

Special Care is Required

As mentioned earlier, several risks, like infections, are involved when using dialysis access. To avoid complications, your care team must educate you on handling your access and the entire hemodialysis process. Please adhere to every instruction given and ask for clarification where you do not understand. The catheter area must be kept clean and dry at all times. Grafts and fistulas must be thoroughly cleaned using antibacterial soap daily. You might get the urge to scratch or prick the access sites, but you must resist. Also, inspect the site regularly and watch for suspicious signs like warmth, infection, or redness.

Special Rules Assures the Access Functions Well

Your doctor will give you specialized instructions about how you will ensure the access runs correctly. You must check your blood flow often every day by checking the vibration. Also, you must take pressure off the access. Therefore, do not wear tight clothing or jewelry on the access hand, do not lift or carry heavy stuff, and avoid sleeping on the access hand.

Choose The Right Option for You

As you might have noted, not all dialysis access techniques work for everyone. It makes a difference in finding the right technique for you. Work in handy with your doctor to find the right access for you to avoid issues that can affect the entire hemodialysis process. Your doctor and care team will evaluate you and understand what works best for you for a recommendation.

Consulting a dialysis access specialist can help you understand the right option for you. Schedule a consultation appointment today with the South Florida Vascular Associates experts for help.