Dialysis Access Specialist

Texas Heart and Vein Multispecialty Group

CARDIOVASCULAR DOCTORS & PODIATRY LOCATED IN Greater Heights, Downtown, Houston, and Kingwood, TX

If your kidneys don’t work properly, dialysis can provide life-saving blood filtering. But, to have regular dialysis you need a dialysis access point. That’s where Texas Heart and Vein Multispecialty Group provides help. With offices in Greater Heights and Downtown Houston, Texas, and a third office in Kingwood, Texas, the team of skilled surgeons can create your dialysis access point and then offer comprehensive vascular access care long term. Call the office in your area or arrange your consultation online.

Dialysis Access Q & A

What is dialysis access surgery?

In dialysis access surgery, a skilled surgeon creates a new access point for dialysis equipment that cleans your blood of waste and excess fluids. 

Your veins aren't strong enough to survive repeated needle sticks you need for regular dialysis. Dialysis access surgery significantly alters or reinforces your access vein to prevent collapse.

When might I need dialysis access surgery?

If your kidneys don't work like they should to clean your blood, dialysis can save your life. Dialysis uses a machine to do the jobs that your kidneys normally do, including removing extra fluid, wastes, and toxins from your blood. 

To undergo regular dialysis, you need dialysis access surgery. Candidates for this type of procedure usually have end-stage kidney disease, with 15% or less of normal kidney function.

What are the types of dialysis access surgery?

The two types of dialysis access surgery are:

Arteriovenous fistula (AVF)

An AVF joins an artery and vein, usually within your arm. This widens and strengthens your vein, which allows for smoother dialysis access without the usual risk of vein collapse.

The fistula takes a few months to mature, at which point you can start regular dialysis with it. 

Arteriovenous graft (AVG)

In AVG surgery, your surgeon uses a looped plastic tube to join an artery and vein. Because a graft has some foreign materials, the risk of infection and blood clots is higher than with a fistula. But, you can usually use a graft for dialysis within one month of the surgery, sooner than a fistula. 

The skilled surgical team at Texas Heart and Vein Multispecialty Group performs both types of surgery. The team can explain your specific situation and needs to help you choose the dialysis access that makes life easiest for you.

How long is the hospital stay with dialysis access surgery?

With both AVG and AVF, you’ll have the procedure at either an outpatient facility or in a local hospital. Many patients go home that same day, but you may need to stay one night in the hospital. 

Texas Heart and Vein Multispecialty Group offers the best in vascular access surgery and ongoing care, and the experienced team is ready to explore your dialysis options with you. Call the office or arrange a consultation online today.