Dialysis Access

After kidney failure, you need dialysis to function unless you get a kidney transplant. Your dialysis access literally works as a lifeline, so you need a vascular expert to perform the procedure. The team at American Vascular Specialists in Mesa, Arizona, has extensive experience in advanced vascular surgery, and they’re here to create the best dialysis access for your specific needs. Use online booking, or call to make your appointment now.

Dialysis Access Q & A

What is dialysis?

Dialysis performs the role your kidneys usually fulfill, cleaning your blood. After kidney failure, dialysis is the only way to remove waste, salt, and excess fluid from your body, apart from getting new kidneys. Dialysis also helps you maintain stable blood pressure.  There are two types of kidney dialysis, hemodialysis, and peritoneal dialysis.


In hemodialysis dialysis, a machine pumps your blood out of your body and cleans it before returning it to your body. This type of dialysis occurs at a medical facility.

Peritoneal dialysis

This type of dialysis uses your abdominal lining, the peritoneum, to clean your blood with the help of fluid that you pump in and out each day. You do this type of dialysis at home.

Both types of dialysis can have their advantages and drawbacks, so your specialists can help you choose the right one.

What is dialysis access?

Dialysis access is a surgical opening created for a dialysis tube. There are several types of dialysis access, including:

Arteriovenous (AV) fistula

An AV fistula is an access point for hemodialysis. In AV fistula, your American Vascular Specialists surgeon removes a small length of vein from either your arm or leg and then uses it to reinforce an artery in that area. 

AV graft

An AV graft is an access point for hemodialysis. In an AV graft, your surgeon uses a prosthetic graft to combine an artery and nearby vein in your arm or leg. 

Hemodialysis catheter

A hemodialysis catheter is a tube that goes in your neck, chest, or groin. It’s usually used in emergency situations, when you need an immediate dialysis access point, and is later replaced with an AV fistula or AV graft. 

Peritoneal catheter

A peritoneal catheter, the only kind of peritoneal dialysis access, goes in the bottom part of your abdomen. It connects to a small tube outside your body.

Your American Vascular Specialists surgeon helps you decide on the best type of dialysis access port for your specific situation. 

When can I start dialysis after my dialysis access surgery?

It depends on what type of dialysis access you have. In general, a graft requires at least a month of healing time, and a fistula requires around 2-3 months of healing time. With peritoneal access, the wait to start dialysis may be up to a month.

For dialysis access from the experts, call American Vascular Specialists or book online now.