Hemodialysis via Arteriovenous Fistula

Why to perform Dialysis?

Dialysis is performed as critical life support when person experiences acute or chronic kidney failure. Hemodialysis via Arteriovenous Fistula is a mechanical way to cleanse the blood and balance body fluids when the kidneys are not able to perform their essential functions. Kidney failure can, in some cases be reversible, and dialysis can provide temporary support until renal function is restored. Dialysis may also be irreversible or chronic kidney shutdown when transplantation is the medical goal and the patient is waiting for a donated kidney. Some critically ill patients with life threatening illnesses such as cancer or severe heart disease are not candidates for transplantation and dialysis for them is the only option for treating permanent kidney failure, also called end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

Types of Dialysis

There are two types of dialysis, hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. In hemodialysis, the blood circulates through a machine outside the body and is filtered as it circulates. In peritoneal dialysis, the blood is filtered through a membrane that has been placed into the abdomen. Blood remains in the body and waste material is filtered into an exchange fluid through an opening in the abdomen called a port. Only hemodialysis requires an AV fistula or other vascular access.

Close scope on Hemodialysis via Arteriovenous Fistula

Hemodialysis via Arteriovenous Fistula circulates blood through a dialysis machine that contains a filter membrane. The blood is slowly pumped out of the body and into the machine for cleansing. After being filtered, the blood is returned to the body through the same vascular access. About one cup (235 mL) of blood is outside the body at any given moment during the continuous circulation process.

Hemodialysis via Arteriovenous Fistula is usually done three times a week, taking between three and five hours each time. Healthcare professionals perform the procedure either at independent dialysis centers or in hospitals or medical centers. Dialysis patients must go to the hemodialysis center where they will sit to receive the treatment.