What is a dialysis access?
Dialysis access is an entranceway into your bloodstream that lies completely beneath your skin. The access is usually in your arm, but sometimes in the leg, and allows blood to be removed and returned quickly, efficiently, and safely during dialysis or, less commonly, for other procedures requiring frequent access to your circulation.
There are two types of access placed completely under the skin:
- Fistula, which your vascular surgeon constructs by joining an artery to a vein
- Graft, which is a man-made tube, consisting of a plastic or other material, that your vascular surgeon inserts under the skin to connect an artery to a vein
This study is done to assess the patency and suitability of both the arteries and veins associated with the dialysis access.
What can I expect during the exam?
A complete examination takes approximately 30 minutes. It is performed in a private room lying on an exam table. A technologist will perform the test by taking images of the veins and arteries using the ultrasound equipment. A transducer is placed on the extremity with a small amount of water soluble ultrasound gel. A tourniquet will be placed on the upper arm for a portion of the study during the evaluation of the superficial veins.
- Allow 30 minutes for a complete examination
- Please wear loose collar or button up shirt with short sleeves if your arms are to be examined.
- For leg studies, you will remove your pants, socks & shoes.
- No additional preparation is necessary for this study
Please call us with any questions or to schedule an appointment for a Fort Myers dialysis access duplex exam: (239) 694-8346