If you have renal vascular disease or another condition that has caused your kidneys to fail, you will need to undergo hemodialysis while you are waiting for a kidney transplant. In hemodialysis, a machine cleans and filters your blood to perform the normal function of your kidneys. The point in your body where the dialysis machine can reach your blood vessels is called the dialysis access. Your vascular surgeon may recommend one of the following access types for hemodialysis:

  • Bloodstream catheter – This is a temporary access point.
  • Arteriovenous (AV) fistula – This involves sewing together one of your veins and one of your arteries.
  • Arteriovenous (AV) graft – This involves placing a tube between one of your veins and one of your arteries.
  • Peritoneal dialysis catheter – This involves placing a small tube in your abdomen

What to Expect

Bloodstream Catheter

A catheter is a tube that enters the bloodstream and exits the skin and sticks out of your body. A dialysis machine is connected to the attachments on the tube and the treatment proceeds. The advantage of a bloodstream catheter is that it can be used immediately and does not require a healing period. Because the risk of infection is high, a bloodstream catheter is used only on a temporary basis.

AV Fistula

An AV fistula is a surgical connection under the skin between an artery and a vein. The connection of these blood vessels makes a larger, stronger blood vessel, known as a fistula, which is used for hemodialysis treatments. An AV fistula is typically considered the best option for dialysis access due to its low risk of infection.

AV Graft

If your vascular surgeon thinks your veins are too small to undergo an AV fistula, an AV graft may be the next option to prepare for hemodialysis. This procedure involves sewing a prosthetic graft (tube) between an artery and a vein in your arm or leg. An AV graft needs to heal for at least four weeks before you can undergo hemodialysis.

Peritoneal Dialysis Catheter

If you need to undergo peritoneal dialysis, the vascular surgeon will place a small tube (cannula) in your abdomen, which provides access for the lining of your abdomen (peritoneum) to perform the work of your kidneys and filter your blood.


We offer Dialysis Access at the following location:

Baptist Health Surgery | Boynton Beach (Seacrest)
2800 S. Seacrest Blvd., Suite 200
Boynton Beach, FL 33435

Meet the Team

Our team is comprised of physician experts who have experience treating a variety of vascular conditions, including the latest minimally invasive techniques.

To schedule an appointment with one of our experts, please call:

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