When your kidneys start failing, your body needs help filtering out waste. Dialysis treatments remove waste from your body, but you need a dialysis access implanted first. Central Florida’s leading vascular surgeon Obinna Nwobi, MD, of Vein Health Clinics, works with you to find the best type of dialysis access to fit your needs. With office locations in Oviedo, Winter Haven, and Apopka, Florida, Dr. Nwobi offers flexible scheduling for patients who need a dialysis access point.
The ideal location of your dialysis access depends on the health of your veins. For urgent cases, you may need a tunneled catheter in your neck. However, this access point is usually only temporary because the risk of infection is high.
With a peritoneal dialysis access, Dr. Nwobi places a small tube directly into your abdomen. That allows the lining of your abdomen to help filter your blood. Some patients prefer this type of access because you can perform several dialysis exchanges at home on your own.
If your veins are small or weak, you may need an AV graft dialysis access. With this option, Dr. Nwobi sews a prosthetic graft between an artery and a vein, either in your arm or leg.
Usually, though, the ideal option is the AV fistula access, which requires Dr. Nwobi to take a small part of an arm or leg vein and sew it to a neighboring artery. That forces the sewn vein to become bigger and stronger, much like an artery.
Many types of dialysis access procedures only require numbing the area with local anesthesia. For some access points, you may need a regional block to numb your arm or leg entirely. Because some dialysis access points are invasive, Dr. Nwobi might suggest going under general anesthesia for the procedure. That's usually a last resort.
Dr. Nwobi often suggests allowing the access point to heal before starting dialysis. For the AV graft access, plan to let the area heal for at least four weeks. If you need an AV fistula, he recommends a two- to three-month recovery period.
No matter which type of dialysis access you’ve received, avoid sleeping on the treatment limb. For instance, if your access is on your left leg, sleep on your back or your right side. Also, avoid wearing tight clothing when you have a dialysis access in place.
When you need a dialysis access, Dr. Nwobi of Vein Health Clinics can guide you through the entire process. Schedule an appointment online or call the office to get started.