Interventional Radiology Procedures


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Arteriovenous Fistula (AV Fistula) for Dialysis: Creation, Evaluation, and Repair

An arteriovenous fistula (AV fistula) is a linkage or short circuit between an artery and a vein in which the blood from the artery loops back directly into the vein. When these AV fistulas occur congenitally or due to injury, they can cause problems and require treatment to prevent heart failure. Naturally occurring AV fistulas may be diagnosed by angiography and can be repaired by inserting plugs or coils into the linkage.

When kidney dialysis is needed frequently, such as in late stage renal failure, the vein must be pierced for each treatment. Over time, the vein may becomes inflamed and scarred, and the chance of blood clots increases as the vessel narrows. To prevent this, our doctors can deliberately create an AV fistula in your arm. This small medically induced AV fistula does not have the risks that a naturally occurring AV fistula has, and will widen and strengthen the vein, making needle insertion easier and reduce the chance of blood clots.

Arteriovenous fistulas may be evaluated with AV fistulagrams, in which an x-ray contrast medium is placed in the AV fistula so that the blood flow may be viewed on a monitor to evaluate the health of the fistula.

If your medically-created AV fistula has narrowed or become occluded, our doctors can repair and widen it using AV angioplasty, in which the connection between the artery and the vein is widened using a balloon catheter.

AV fistula creation is a catheter-based procedure that our doctors perform at Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton, Ohio. The procedure takes about an hour and a short hospital stay is expected.

AV fistulagram and AV angioplasty are catheter-based procedures that our doctors perform at our freestanding facility. These procedures take about an hour and no overnight stay is required.


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