If your kidneys have failed to function properly, you have learned all about the process of dialysis. Dialysis is necessary in order to purify your blood through the use of a shunt, medical tubes and a machine when your kidneys can no longer perform this important job.
Whether you go to a facility for your regular treatments or perform dialysis at home, you will need a fistula or shunt to be inserted into a vein to provide a connection to your arteries to make your treatments easier on you. The shunt or fistula is often inserted in the arm. Every time you get a treatment, think of this as the point of connection with the machine. While you are undergoing dialysis treatments on a regular basis, you should consider a dialysis fistulogram for your peace of mind.
What is a Dialysis Fistulogram?
A dialysis fistulogram is an X-ray test. It is designed to check your fistula or shunt to see if there are any problems with this vital connection that could get in the way during your treatments. It is also beneficial in checking the condition of your veins. If any problems are detected, you may need additional treatments.
What Kind of Treatments May Be Necessary?
If vascular problems are detected during your dialysis fistulogram, our medical team will determine if you need further intervention. For example, if there is a blockage found in your blood vessels, our doctor will want to clear the blockage to avoid complications. A blockage can be treated in several ways.
Angioplasty involves inserting a tube into your vein, followed by a small balloon that is deflated. The balloon is inflated in the vein to clear the blockage. If this is not effective enough to resolve the issue, a stent, which is a tube made out of metal mesh, can be inserted into the vein to make sure it stays open and promotes healthy circulation. Another option may be thrombolytic therapy. It all depends on your unique situation.
If you are the victim of blood clots, you may be given medication to dissolve your clots after your dialysis fistulogram. Your treatment will depend on your situation. If no problems are detected, you will not need to take any more action. Continue to take care of yourself and schedule a dialysis fistulogram periodically to monitor your veins. When you have a serious kidney condition, it is important that you pay close attention to your body.
Learn More About a Dialysis Fistulogram
Talk to our physicians at Peripheral Vascular Associates about scheduling a dialysis fistulogram. For your convenience, we have locations in San Antonio, Boerne, Corpus Christi, Del Rio, Floresville, Hondo, Jourdanton, New Braunfels and Uvalde. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn more.