Creating an Access Point for Filtering Your Blood
Our expert vascular physicians at Mercy Health perform dialysis access for the treatment of chronic kidney disease or kidney failure.
What is Dialysis Access?
Your kidneys have several important jobs. In addition to filtering your blood, they help maintain just the right balance of water, acids, and minerals in your body. They also function as part of the endocrine system to produce hormones.
Kidney disease and failure occur when the kidney loses its ability to maintain fluids and filter out harmful toxins. The most common treatment for this is dialysis, a process that removes waste for your kidney. While there are multiple forms of dialysis, the most common is hemodialysis, which is a method of taking blood out of the body and putting it through a filter system to purify it of toxins.
Dialysis access is the process of creating a pathway through the vein for filtering blood out. Our vascular specialists create short-term dialysis access points by inserting a catheter below the skin of the arm or leg to begin hemodialysis.
If you need long-term dialysis, your physician will connect an artery to one of your veins for more permanent access. Occasionally no adequate veins are available and an artificial graft will be used.