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Often, due to the more thickened and saturated with waste products and salts blood of patients on hemodialysis treatment, it happens that the AV fistula becomes blocked.

This condition is urgent and patients experience it dramatically, because hemodialysis is their life, and without a source – it is really at serious risk.

How to act in case of blocked fistula?

First of all, calm down. Worst decisions are made under stress.

A blocked fistula CAN be unclogged, but it takes time and specialist help:

  1. Vascular surgeon – a consultation from an experienced vascular surgeon is necessary, who, in addition to making fistulas, is also specialized in unclogging them. A good specialist will understand the cause of the blockage and, most importantly, will know whether the AV fistula can be “repaired” or whether a new fistula will be needed.

It is possible to require an intervention under anesthesia to unclog the vessels, which is a common option.

But, of course, there is another development of things – the fistula is irreparably damaged and a new one has to be made. No need to worry – we repeat – an experienced vascular surgeon knows that an AV fistula is best for any hemodialysis patient and will schedule the earliest possible date for a new fistula.

  1. Invasive cardiologist – there are already cardiology hospitals in which invasive departments a procedure for unclogging dialysis fistulas is performed, which resembles coronary angiography. The manipulation is available via a clinical pathway, performed under local anesthesia and is completed within an hour.

Here we should dwell on the most important question that concerns every hemodialysis patient who is presented with the difficult situation of a blocked (non-working) fistula, namely:

What should I do until my fistula works??? How will I do dialysis in the meantime?

The answer is one, especially if technological time is needed to unblock or build a completely new AV fistula – a temporary catheter is placed.

Placement of a temporary catheter is necessary and life-saving when the fistula cannot be used immediately, as it is unacceptable for patients to miss their hemodialysis procedures.

Of course, temporary catheters are associated with a number of inconveniences, but sometimes they are the only option for a non-functioning fistula.

In conclusion – good blood control, good dialysis, in which blood purification is as good as possible, the best quality dialyzers are used – these are all prerequisites for a long life of the AV fistula.

However, even when blocked, there is always a way out! It is worth reminding that the AV fistula is the best solution for you!