Dialysis Access Care

and management

Graphic Dialysis access

Maintaining a clear and functioning AV fistula is critical for patients on dialysis. Community Vascular Washington offers procedures to improve the function of AV fistulas.



Sometimes these fistulas can become narrowed or blocked, requiring urgent treatment in order for patients to continue receiving dialysis. A fistulogram is a test we perform at Community Vascular Washington to look for narrowing of blockages in the AV fistula. During the procedure, a small tube (catheter) is inserted into the AV fistula. A contrast is then injected into the area to look for narrowing or blockages. If narrowing or blockage is discovered, another tube is inserted with a small balloon attached. The balloon is then positioned at the site of narrowing or blockage and inflated and deflated several times. In cases where there continues to be blockages, a metal tube (stent) is inserted to keep the vessel open and improve blood flow. Sometimes the fistulogram will show a blood clot blocking the vessel. In these cases a special drug or device is inserted into the area to dissolve the clot.