Neo TrueNorth Hospitals
Neo TrueNorth

Understanding AV Fistula

An arteriovenous (AV) fistula is an abnormal connection between an artery and a vein, which can be created surgically for patients undergoing hemodialysis as part of their kidney failure treatment. The AV fistula allows for efficient blood flow and access for dialysis, significantly improving the dialysis process’s effectiveness and reducing complications.

Indications for AV Fistula

An AV fistula is primarily indicated for patients with end-stage renal disease who require long-term hemodialysis. Creating an AV fistula can offer benefits such as:

  • Enhanced Dialysis Efficiency: Provides a reliable and high-flow blood access for dialysis.
  • Reduced Complications: Lower risk of infection and clotting compared to other forms of dialysis access like catheters.
  • Long-Term Durability: AV fistulas typically last longer than other dialysis access types.

The AV Fistula Creation Procedure

Creating an AV fistula involves surgically connecting an artery to a vein, usually in the arm, to create a strong and reliable blood vessel for dialysis.

Preoperative Evaluation

  • Assessment: Patients undergo a thorough evaluation, including physical examination and imaging studies (such as ultrasound) to identify the best site for the fistula.
  • Preparation: Patients receive pre-operative instructions, which may include fasting guidelines and medication adjustments.

Surgical Procedure

  • Local Anesthesia: The area where the fistula will be created is numbed using a local anesthetic to minimize discomfort during the procedure.
  • Incision and Connection: The surgeon makes a small incision to expose the selected artery and vein, then carefully connects them to form the fistula.
  • Closure: The incision is closed with sutures, and a sterile dressing is applied.
  • Duration: The procedure typically takes about 1 to 2 hours.

Postoperative Care and Fistula Maturation

  • Healing: Patients are provided with instructions on caring for the incision site, managing discomfort, and monitoring for signs of infection.
  • Fistula Maturation: The fistula needs time to mature and develop strong blood flow, which can take several weeks to a few months.
  • Monitoring: Regular follow-up appointments are scheduled to monitor the fistula’s development and ensure it is functioning correctly.

Potential Risks and Complications

While AV fistula creation is generally safe, it carries certain risks and potential complications, including:

  • Infection: At the surgical site, which may require antibiotics.
  • Bleeding: Excessive bleeding may occur, necessitating further medical attention.
  • Clotting: The fistula may develop blood clots, affecting its function.
  • Steal Syndrome: Reduced blood flow to the hand, causing pain or weakness.
  • Aneurysm Formation: The fistula may develop a bulge or aneurysm over time.

Why Choose Neo TrueNorth for Your AV Fistula Creation?

  • Experienced Surgeons: Our board-certified vascular surgeons specialize in creating and maintaining AV fistulas with precision and care.
  • Advanced Diagnostic Tools: Neo TrueNorth is equipped with state-of-the-art diagnostic technology to accurately evaluate and select the best site for AV fistula creation.
  • Personalized Care: We provide individualized care plans tailored to each patient’s unique needs and health status, ensuring the best possible outcomes.
  • Comprehensive Support: Our multidisciplinary team offers comprehensive support, including pre-operative counseling, post-operative care, and follow-up consultations, to ensure a positive surgical experience.
  • State-of-the-Art Facilities: Neo TrueNorth is equipped with modern surgical facilities and the latest technology to provide safe and successful AV fistula creation in a comfortable environment.

Trust Neo TrueNorth for expert care in AV fistula creation and management. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your treatment options.