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Interventional Nephrology

Procedures

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.

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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.

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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.

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Health Information

Maine Medical Center | 22 Bramhall Street | Portland, Maine 04102-3175 | (207) 662-0111