Hemodialysis is a way to remove wastes from the blood when your kidneys can no longer do the job. It is not a cure, but it can help you live longer and feel better. It is a lifesaving treatment when you have kidney failure. Hemodialysis is often called dialysis.
Before you can start dialysis, a doctor will create a place where the blood can flow in and out of your body during dialysis. This is called the hemodialysis (or vascular) access.
There are two basic types of permanent vascular access.
You will get medicine to numb the area and help you feel relaxed during the surgery. The doctor will make a cut on the forearm of the arm you use the least. This cut is called an incision. The doctor will close it with stitches. The incision will leave a scar that fades with time.
You will probably go home the same day as the surgery. You will probably need to take 1 or 2 days off from work after the surgery.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
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Current as of: March 15, 2018
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
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