Placement and removal
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
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.
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.