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Interventional Nephrology (Dialysis)

Vascular Access Center (VAC) at Scarborough Surgery Center (SSC), in partnership with Maine Nephrology, offers vascular access services to dialysis patients in a state of the art ambulatory surgery center.

  • The VAC at SSC is easy to navigate. Patients and visitors will benefit from our exemplary patient-centered family care and beautiful facility.
  • Ample parking and convenient access allows patients to get in and out efficiently. Appointments
  • Block time is conveniently available every Monday and Tuesday from 9:00-3:00pm and Wednesday and Friday from 11:00-4:00pm.
  • Emergencies can be accommodated as needed on Thursdays.
  • Centralize booking can be reached at (207)662-2665 Monday - Friday from 8:00am-5:00pm making it easy to book patient appointments. The direct line to the VAC is (207)396-8200.

Instructions After Dialysis Catheter Insertion
Vascular Instructions after Fistulagram
Procedures

Instructions After Dialysis Catheter Insertion

You may have received intravenous medicine that causes weakness and sleepiness. Rest and limit your activity for 24 hours. Have someone to help you at home. Do not drive, use machinery, or make any important decisions for 24 hours after taking pain medication.

  • You may resume your previous diet and medications.
  • Apply ice to site 20 minutes of every hour while awake.
  • Do not lie flat. Sleep with head up on two pillows for 24 hours.
  • May restart Coumadin: _______ (amount) @ _______ (time)
  • May take 1-2 Tylenol tabs every 4-6 hours for discomfort.
  • Make sure the catheter caps are in place and the clamps are closed.
  • Try not to get the catheter dressing wet. It needs to be kept as dry as possible. Do not remove the dressing. If the catheter gets wet, call the Vascular Access Center. No showers or baths until cleared by the dialysis unit.
  • Wear clothing to dialysis that allows the staff to easily change the catheter dressing. A shirt or blouse that buttons in the front is the best.
  • Things to report to the Vascular Access Center or the Dialysis Unit: bleeding or drainage from the catheter site, pain or swelling around the site, fever or chills.
  • Do NOT let anyone but the dialysis staff use the catheter.

Emergency Situations If bleeding occurs from the ends of your catheter, check the clamps--if they are open, close them. If the bleeding continues, pinch the tubing to stop the bleeding and call 911. If your catheter comes out, IMMEDIATELY apply pressure with a gauze or clean towel. Sit down, limit movement, and call for help.

Vascular Instructions after Fistulagram

You may have received intravenous medicine that causes weakness and sleepiness. Rest and limit your activity for 24 hours. Have someone to help you at home. Do not drive, use machinery, or make any important decisions for 24 hours or while taking pain medication.

  • You may resume your previous diet, medications and activity.
  • Sutures out in ______days at your dialysis center.
  • If bleeding from your fistula should occur, apply pressure to the site and hold until the bleeding stops.
  • If bleeding does not stop after 15 minutes, continue to apply pressure and call the Vascular Access Center or Maine Nephrology (if after hours).
  • May restart your Coumadin : _______ (amount) @ _______ (time)
  • Call the Vascular Access Center if you have fever, chills, pain, or redness over the fistula, or if your fingers or hand become cold, painful, or blue.
  • May take Tylenol for pain: 1 or 2 tabs every 4-6 hours as needed for pain.
  • Do NOT wear anything tight around the fistula arm, this includes clothing and jewelry.
  • Do NOT hang purses or shopping bags from the fistula arm.
  • Do NOT allow blood pressures to be taken on the fistula arm.
  • Do NOT allow anyone except dialysis personnel to stick needles of any kind in the fistula arm.
  • Feel for the thrill every day. The thrill is the vibration you feel over the fistula that means the blood is flowing through it. If you cannot feel the thrill, call the Vascular Access Center or the dialysis unit.
  • For any questions or concerns, call the Vascular Access Center.

Procedures

Placement and Removal

Placement and removal of catheters A dialysis catheter placement is done in a special procedure room, using X-rays and contrast (X-ray dye) to help guide the catheter (a small tube) into a large blood vessel (vein) that runs directly to the heart. The chest or neck is often the preferred area for placement. This catheter is a special tube that has two channels and is used for dialysis.

Angioplasty of Grafts

Angioplasty of grafts and fistulas An angioplasty is a procedure that opens up blocked or narrowed fistulas or grafts without surgery. The doctor uses X-rays and contrast (X-ray dye) to help guide a catheter (a small tube) through the skin into a blood vessel to the exact location of the blocked or narrowed fistula or graft. There is a balloon on the end of this small catheter. When the balloon is placed in the area of the blockage or narrowing, the balloon is filled and emptied a number of times, which opens the narrowing. This helps increase the flow of blood through that area, thus maintaining the life of your graft or fistula.

Mechanical Thrombolysis

Mechanical thrombolysis Thrombolysis is a procedure to remove a blood clot (thrombus) from your fistula or graft. It is performed in a special procedure room using X-rays and contrast (X-ray dye) to help the doctor find the exact location of the blood clot. The doctor performing this procedure will determine the best way to remove the clot. Thrombolysis by any of these methods helps prolong the life of your graft or fistula, and may prevent the need for surgery.

Maine Medical Center is a member of the MaineHealth System