Kidney care begins with Kidney Smart®

Kidney smart educator

Learn more and get your questions answered in a no-cost kidney education class.

Vascular access

Before beginning hemodialysis treatment, a person needs an access to their bloodstream, called a "vascular access." The access allows the patient’s blood to travel to and from the dialysis machine at a large volume and high speed so that toxins, waste and extra fluid can be removed from the body.

There are three access types for hemodialysis: arteriovenous (AV) fistula, AV graft and central venous catheter. Each access is created surgically. There are a limited number of places on the body where an access can be placed—the arms, legs, neck or chest. The fistula and graft are considered to be permanent accesses because they are placed under the skin with a plan to use them for many years.

Related articles on DaVita.com

External links

Organizations

Download a Cookbook

Get a free recipe collection from the DaVita kitchen.

Get the Cookbooks

405,847 Enjoyed So Far!

Meet Your Local Kidney Expert

Register for a no-cost, 90-minute training session taught by a certified instructor in your neighborhood.

Find a Class Near Me

Find a Dialysis Center

Advanced Search

Call 1-800-424-6589 now to talk to one of our placement specialists.

New to Dialysis?

Learn which DaVita service may best fit your lifestyle.

Explore Options

Kidney Diet Basics

Back to Top

Patients whose dialysis is impacted by Hurricane Harvey or Hurricane Irma should call 1-800-400-8331.

DaVita dialysis centers and hospital locations in impacted areas continue to receive and treat patients. Find an open center here: blogs.davita.com/emergency-management