More Articles in Planning For A Vascular Access

Overview of self-cannulation for home hemodialysis

When hemodialysis patients insert their own dialysis needles into a dialysis graft or fistula, it is called self-cannulation. Home hemodialysis (HHD) patients must self-cannulate, or have their care partner insert their dialysis needles for them. There are two common forms of self-cannulation. Learn about the rope ladder technique and the buttonhole technique.

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Overview of catheter, fistula and graft placement surgeries

Every dialysis patient has to have either vascular access or PD catheter placement surgery, depending on the type of dialysis they choose. Learn more about vascular access and catheter placement surgery.

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Vascular Access: Your lifeline to hemodialysis

You and your doctor should discuss and decide which access will be best for you. Learning about the different access types enables you to understand the pros and cons of each. You’ll also be able to have a more thorough conversation with your doctor since you are more familiar with your access options.

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Taking care of your AV fistula

Arteriovenous (AV) fistula is the recommended access choice for people on hemodialysis. It is important to learn how to keep your fistula healthy and functional even though an AV fistula is not as prone to infection or complications compared to other hemodialysis accesses. Read more on how to care for your AV fistula.

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Rope ladder and constant site or buttonhole techniques

To help keep a fistula healthy, there are two recommended methods of cannulation; the rope ladder technique and the buttonhole (BH) technique. Currently, the rope ladder technique is commonly used in dialysis centers, while the buttonhole technique is recommended for hemodialysis patients who self-cannulate. Learn about the ladder and buttonhole methods and which may be best for you.

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How long can an arteriovenous (AV) fistula last?

Remember 1972? It was a leap year. The Godfather won the Academy Award for best picture. The Dallas Cowboys beat the Miami Dolphins 24-3 in Super Bowl VI. Medicare established the End Stage Renal Disease Program to pay for dialysis treatment for all Americans due to ethical issues. At the time there were 7,000 people on dialysis; today there are over 350,000. In 1972, four people, who now dialyze with DaVita, each had an arteriovenous (AV) fistula placed so they could start hemodialysis; and today all four still have their working AV fistulas.

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Arteriovenous (AV) fistula — the gold standard hemodialysis access

The arteriovenous (AV) fistula is considered the “gold standard” vascular access among hemodialysis practitioners, nephrologists (kidney doctors) and kidney disease advocacy groups. Find out about all the access choices and learn what a fistula is, why there is a program called “Fistula First” promoting the use of fistulas and how to care for one.

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