Hemodialysis is one of the most common treatment methods to manage the symptoms, reduce complications and slow the progression of kidney diseases.
Before dialysis treatment begins, vascular access needs to be established. This can be done using a catheter for those who need to begin treatment immediately, but long-term access is created with either an arteriovenous fistula or graft.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a fistula graft to become narrow or develop a clot. As part of a patient’s larger care team, our vascular specialists can intervene by placing a stent to improve or restore blood flow so that a patient can continue dialysis treatment.
The doctor will perform an angiogram to determine evaluate the severity of the arterial blockage.
When a balloon angioplasty is unable to effectively improve blood flow on its own, a tiny metal cylinder called a stent may be placed to hold the blood vessel open.
This procedure, called an angioplasty with stenting, is a minimally invasive treatment method performed through an incision roughly the size of a pencil tip and numbed using a local anesthetic. Patients are usually able to go home the same day.
Stents are considered permanent and cannot be used as a treatment option for patients with a metal allergy.
In some cases, vascular access may need to be restricted such as to control or prevent abnormal bleeding, cut off blood supply to a tumor or eliminate abnormal connections between arteries and veins.
Embolization is a highly-effective, minimally invasive method to restrict vascular access. At Naadi Healthcare, we commonly use embolization to treat pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS)–a chronic condition that occurs in women when varicose veins form within the pelvic region below the abdomen.
The procedure is performed using a thin catheter to guide tiny coils to the affected vein in order to seal it and relieve pressure. For patients with PCS, embolization has been shown to reduce symptoms by as much as 95%.
We also perform embolization to treat uterine fibroids–non-cancerous (benign) growths that develop in the muscular wall of the uterus. Again using a catheter, round beads are inserted to each fibroid-feeding vessel to block blood flow. Without blood flow, the fibroids shrink and patients experience symptom relief.