Vascular access is required for hemodialysis. It is a rapid, direct method of introducing or removing devices or chemicals from the bloodstream. In hemodialysis, it is used to remove the patient's blood so that it can be filtered through the dialyzer (special filter).
In preparation for hemodialysis, individuals will be referred to the Vascular Access Clinic to:
- Be assessed for creation of vascular access
- Have an ultrasound of both arms to assess the size and quality of veins
- Have an ultrasound of the heart
- Meet with the vascular surgeon and dialysis vascular access coordinator to discuss options
There are 3 types of vascular access also called body access: arteriovenous fistula, a Graft (artificial vein) and Central Venous Catheter (CVL) sometimes called perm Cath or dialysis catheter. Click here to learn more about the 3 types of vascular access.