Dialysis Maintenance

Catholic Health Dialysis Machine Maintenance

After you start receiving dialysis through your new access, we will follow up with you to ensure that your access stays healthy and usable.

Maintaining Blood Flow

Blood clots or blockages may interfere with your dialysis. When fistulas and grafts become clogged or narrowed, they can prevent you from undergoing dialysis.

To maintain blood flow through your vascular access, we offer:

  • Fistulagarms / Shuntograms - this is an x-ray test to look inside your dialysis access, whether it is a fistula or shunt. This x-ray test detects imperfections or narrowing in the access or the blood vessels leaving the access. It checks for blood clots or other blockages.
  • Ultrasound - an ultrasound evaluates for blockages or areas of narrowing in the graft/fistula.
  • Graft declotting (thrombectomy) - this is a minimally invasive procedure performed to improve blood flow in the fistula and grafts placed in the blood vessel.
  • Angioplasty - this procedure uses mechanical devices, such as a balloon, to open fistulas and grafts and helps them remain open.

Preventing Vascular Access Problems

It is not unusual that an acute or urgent problem develops with your access; for example, an infection, clot, blockage, or excessive bleeding. Rest assured that we are ready to take care of these problems as well – usually on the same or next business day.

Regular preventive visits are important to maintain your access and reduce the likelihood of any urgent problems.