Dialysis access is the process of accessing blood vessels to provide dialysis for patients with renal failure. It can be provided through a catheter inserted into an artery (arteriovenous, or AV) or vein (venovenous). Dialysis access is a hot topic in the Evergreen Park dialysis community, and there are many things to consider when determining what type of access best suits your lifestyle. It is essential to understand the differences between long-term options such as peritoneal dialysis (PD), hemodialysis (HD), and kidney transplantation so that you can make an informed decision on which one would be best suited for you. Here are a few things to know about Evergreen Park dialysis access.
What Is Dialysis?
Dialysis is a medical treatment used for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) when their kidneys can no longer function properly. More than 460,000 people undergo dialysis three times a week in the United States alone, while 468,000 have a functioning kidney transplant.
During dialysis, a machine does the work of both kidneys by removing waste and excess water from the blood. This is called hemodialysis, and it is most commonly used in patients with CKD. Hemodialysis requires a sterile connection between an artery and a vein near the skin, making replacement of this access for dialysis essential. It should only be conducted by a professional.
Types of Kidney Access
The kidney is a vital organ consisting of about one million functional units called nephrons. Each nephron has its blood-filtering unit called a glomerulus, allowing important compounds such as proteins and salts to remain within the blood while removing excess fluids. These are collected in another vessel called Bowman’s capsule, from where they are eliminated from the body.
A renal ultrasound may be necessary to measure kidney function and diagnose problems that may arise. Your doctor should let you know if you need one. When kidneys are healthy, urine flows through the ureter into the bladder. From there, it will be removed from the body via the urethra.
A kidney transplant is currently the best option for patients who underwent complete removal of one or both kidneys due to tumor, injury, congenital problems, or other diseases like systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
There are three main types of kidney access:
Open Surgery (Traditional)
Open surgery is the traditional way of accessing the kidneys through large incisions on either lower backside. It isn’t your ideal surgery type because of the associated risks.
Laparoscopic surgery is an alternative way of removing the kidney by using three or four small incisions on the patient’s belly.
Robotic surgery is the most recent development wherein surgeons sit at a console and perform the operation with movements mimicking human hands through remote control.
Kidneys are responsible for removing waste from the blood and maintaining a healthy balance of chemicals such as sodium and potassium. These organs also maintain healthy levels of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Taking care of them is taking care of the entire body.