Dialysis and Vascular Access and Maintenance

Home Dialysis and Vascular Access and Maintenance

Type of access

Hemodialysis accesses the bloodstream through a connection between an artery and a vein, called a vascular access.

Peritoneal Dialysis circulates a cleaning solution into the lining of the abdomen (called the Peritoneum) to clean the blood. The peritoneum is accessed through a catheter in the abdomen.

Establishing and Maintaining Vascular Access

Arteriovenous (AV) fistula: A direct connection between an artery and a vein, usually established on the surface of the arm.

Arteriovenous (AV) graft: A similar connection using a Gortex-like material to join the artery and vein.


A fistulogram uses a form of real-time x-ray called fluoroscopy and a barium-based contrast material to produce images of an abnormal passage within the body called a fistula. Similarly, a sinogram assesses an abnormal passage called a sinus that originates or ends in one opening, often on the skin.


A fistulopasty is a way of relieving a blockage in the arteriovenous fistula. This allows access for dialysis without having an operation. This blockage is opened up using a special device or ‘balloon’ therefore allow more blood to flow through this fistula.