One complication of venous disease is central venous stenosis, a narrowing of veins leading to the heart, and these central veins are often the final common route for patients requiring kidney dialysis. Creating an arteriovenous fistula, a connection between an artery and a vein, or an arteriovenous graft, a looped plastic tube connecting an artery to a vein with a semi-permanent catheter, are traditional treatment options. Today vascular surgeons on the medical staff at Baylor Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital use a specialized product.
Approved by the FDA in 2008, the specialized product is a hemodialysis access graft for patients who are catheter-dependent or approaching catheter-dependency due to the blockage of veins leading to the heart. In clinical studies the Graft reduced the risk of vascular access related infections by 69 percent and improved adequacy of dialysis by up to 32 percent compared to other methods.
The implant can be done on either an inpatient or outpatient basis.
Another vascular graft is also available for use by patients undergoing kidney dialysis. It offers the anticoagulant properties of heparin to potentially reduce the risk of graft thrombosis and may be used to treat peripheral artery disease patients on the same day of hemodialysis.
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