Complete Dialysis Access Services
The Vascular Care Group’s dialysis service is a multi-center practice that specializes in all aspects of managing access for dialysis patients. We focus on the needs of dialysis patients and provide up-to-date, innovative, and emergent access treatments for dialysis patients throughout New England.
We understand how difficult it can be to make an appointment when patients have complications with their access. Therefore, we work on a same-day, next-day service model so all issues are addressed in an expedient manner.
About Dialysis Access
Your Dialysis Access Team
Our dialysis access service’s ability to provide prompt, state-of-the-art care is a direct result of the dedication of our dialysis access team. We work very closely with nephrologists and other medical providers in the community to coordinate care prior to, and following, dialysis access surgery and other interventions.
What is Dialysis Access?
Dialysis access allows a patient to be connected to a dialysis machine. During dialysis, approximately 400ml of blood per minute can be transferred from the patient to the machine, which adjusts fluids and electrolytes, removes toxins, and returns “purified blood” back to the body. Dialysis is necessary to clean the blood when the kidneys have failed.
Why Choose The Vascular Care Group?
Only Board-certified Vascular Surgeons:
- Have dedicated their entire career to vascular care
- Perform all needed evaluation and treatment options, not just a limited subset
- Are able to deal with both simple and the most complicated issues
Continuity of Care
From initial consultation and creation to maintenance, your patients will see the same providers.
Fully Equipped Endovascular Treatment Lab
Every office offers a fully equipped endovascular treatment lab allowing us to treat your patients in the office closest to their home.
Types of Dialysis
An arteriovenous (AV) fistula is created when an artery is connected directly to a vein, often in the forearm. This allows blood to flow into the vein and causes the vein to grow larger and stronger, making repeated needle insertions for dialysis possible. Fistulas have proven to be beneficial for long-term dialysis because they can last longer and are less likely to become infected or clotted.
If you have small veins that won’t develop properly into a fistula, a plastic tube or graft can be implanted under the skin to connect between the artery and vein. The graft becomes an artificial vessel that can be used repeatedly for needle placement during dialysis.
Ellipsys is a new, less-invasive alternative to the traditional creation of AV fistulas and is designed to be used by a physician under local or regional anesthesia during the 30-minute procedure in the outpatient setting.
If your kidney disease has progressed quickly, you may need to have a venous catheter as a temporary access. A catheter is a tube that is inserted into a vein in your neck, chest, or leg. A catheter has two chambers that allow a two-way flow of blood so needle insertion is not needed. Catheters are not ideal for permanent access, but they can be used temporarily while a permanent access develops.
A fistulagram is a special x-ray procedure that identifies abnormalities in the blood flow through your dialysis access that may be interfering with your dialysis treatment. This minimally invasive x-ray procedure uses contrast (a dye) and can detect problems like clots or narrowing. The fistulagram reveals areas of narrowing, enlargement, or blockage within the veins and arteries of your AV fistula or graft. Depending on what your fistulagrams shows, an additional procedure or intervention may be necessary to restore adequate blood flow through your access so you can continue to receive adequate hemodialysis treatments.