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Vascular Access Program

Did you know that many hospitalizations for end-stage kidney disease patients are due to vascular access complications?

A hemodialysis access, or vascular access, is a way to reach the blood for hemodialysis. The access allows blood to travel through soft tubes to the dialysis machine where it is cleaned as it passes through a special filter, called a dialyzer. An access is placed by a minor surgery. As a hemodialysis patient, your access is one of the following:

  • Fistula: an access made by joining an artery and vein in your arm.
  • Graft: an access made by using a piece of soft tube to join an artery and vein in your arm.
  • Catheter: a soft tube that is placed in a large vein, usually in your neck.

Our multidisciplinary center concept — the first in Virginia to address the quality of care for dialysis patients’ vascular access needs — involves nephrologists, surgeons, and vascular radiologists in providing complete dialysis access patient care in the most efficient, economical and high-quality manner.

We aim to provide expedient access placement and management for patients requiring dialysis, to identify and prepare patients sooner, and to increase the use of fistulas. Placement of native AV fistulas maximizes access life and minimizes complications. Our goal is to reduce hospitalization time for our patients.

For more information about caring for your access, please visit: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/hemoaccess or contact our Vascular Access Program Coordinator at (804) 828-9433.