Dialysis Catheters

Dialysis catheters are used for patients whose kidneys have failed. When kidneys fail, the body loses its ability to keep the blood clean. The function of the kidneys can be replaced by dialysis, in which the blood is removed from the body, filtered to remove impurities, then returned to the body.

When is this procedure recommended?

Dialysis helps to maintain healthy blood, but it causes wear and tear on the veins that are frequently pierced to remove and return the blood. A dialysis catheter placement allows the blood to be filtered without weakening the veins. The catheter is a hollow, soft tube that has two openings one to send blood to the dialysis machine and the other to return the cleansed blood back to your body.

How is the procedure performed?

Our Interventional radiologist places a dialysis catheter into a large vein under fluoroscopic guidance, to provide access to larger veins in the center of the chest near the heart. The catheter is typically placed in the non-dominant arm, such as the left arm for a right-handed person. The catheter is inserted several weeks or months before dialysis begins to allow time for healing.

What are the benefits?

  • Catheters provide a method to administer regular dialysis treatments, which can improve quality of life and overall health 

 

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