Our team specializes in the care of a patient’s dialysis access.

We have extensive dialysis backgrounds and understand that the access is your life-line. We provide a full spectrum of procedures to maintain and preserve the dialysis access, dialysis catheter placement and removal.

A fistula is created when a surgeon connects an artery to a vein to make a large blood vessel that can be accessed for dialysis. If a fistula narrows, dialysis treatment may be compromised. If this happens, the patient’s doctor or dialysis nurse may refer the patient to the Western Access Center.
Fistulograms evaluate the functioning and health of dialysis fistulas and grafts. This procedure involves inserting a small IV catheter into the patient’s fistula and injecting IV contrast. This allows the physician to see any stenotic (narrowed) areas in the fistula.
A small catheter with a deflated balloon is inserted to the level of the stenotic (narrowed) lesion. The balloon is then inflated to open the narrowing. Once the narrowed area is opened, the balloon is deflated and the catheter is removed, leaving behind a clear passage.
Pre-Angioplasty

Pre-Angioplasty

Post-Angioplasty

Post-Angioplasty

We use vein mapping for new fistulas to determine the condition of the patient’s access. We use contrast dye to “map” the veins and identify the vessel for future fistula placement. A minimal amount of contrast is used (approximately 5-15 mls., or a teaspoon to tablespoon amount). Ultrasounds are used to ensure a newly-placed fistula is developing properly.
Click Here for Pre-Procedure Checklist