Dialysis (also known as hemodialysis) is a process by which a machine filters out waste products from the blood, to make up for the loss of functioning kidneys. Patients with end-stage renal disease (kidney failure) may need dialysis over the long-term. To make outpatient dialysis possible, a vascular surgeon creates a specially tailored connection between an artery and a vein. Through this connection, called a fistula, blood is diverted from the patient’s bloodstream and flowed into the dialyzer machine, then returned to the patient’s body. Often, an artery and a vein can be joined in the patient’s arm or leg, creating an arteriovenous (AV) fistula. Depending on the condition of the patient’s veins, the surgeon may instead create the connection using an AV graft—an artificial tube or donor tissue.
Our vascular team has a high level of experience at creating dialysis access portals. Supported by advanced diagnostic facilities, Temple specialists help patients decide on a method of dialysis access; if an AV graft is needed, Temple offers multiple materials and options.