AV Graft Placement
An arteriovenous (AV) graft is a type of access used for hemodialysis. The graft is usually placed in the arm, but may be placed in the leg if necessary. An AV graft is the connection of a vein and an artery that utilizes a hollow, synthetic tube (the actual “graft”). One end of the tube is connected to an artery and the other end of the tube is connected to a vein. This connection results in blood flowing from the high flow, high pressure artery through the graft and into the low flow, low pressure vein. As a result the blood flow through the graft provides a flow rate that will deliver enough blood to provide an adequate hemodialysis treatment.
How is a AV Graft placed?
Local anesthesia is administered to the area selected for graft placement. The physician makes two small incisions in order to access the artery and vein. Next, one end of the graft is surgically connected to the artery, the other end is connected to the vein. Once placed, blood now flows from the artery, through the graft and into the vein. This allows needles to be placed into the graft for hemodialysis.
After the procedure, your surgeon will instruct you to keep your arm elevated, either by raising it or propping it with a pillow to reduce swelling and pain at the access site. You may feel some slight discomfort or swelling in your arms for a few days, but this is not uncommon. If you are able to feel a slight vibration (thrill) through your bandage this means your graft is working properly.
How can we help?
We can perform the AV fistula graft placement in our on site ambulatory surgery center Vein Treatment Access Care and help you manage your graft when needed while you are on dialysis. We provide prompt service same day or next day for emergencies and we work every day to deliver far more than our patients expect by bringing our full range of medical capabilities and service excellence to every patient.