If you have not already, you may need to conduct Angioplasty, a minimally invasive procedure to "Declot" your closing Fistula and improve its blood flow. It is common for Hemodialysis patients to need their Arteriovenous (AV) Fistula declotted. Dr. Roman Varcoe said, "Occasionally the AV Fistula may not mature after formation or may mature but then develop problems. These problems include narrowing in a segment that threatens to block the fistula or extends the time taken to Dialyse effectively. Angioplasty and stenting of the AV Fistula may be required under such circumstances..."
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Although the Angioplasty procedure is preferred to a more invasive full surgery, many patients are fearful of Declotting because they do not know what to expect. One viewer wrote, "I had a Fistula stent 2 days ago and my arm is bruised and in Pain!! Is this what is supposed to happen?" If you are currently on Hemodialysis or considering it, then listen up because you too may need a Fistula stent at some point in time.
Your Physician will numb your site with a local anesthetic. S/he will then use an imaging guidance device to place a very tiny balloon into your fistula or graft, and inflate it in order to expand the closing vein or artery wall. Afterward, a stent may need to be placed to hold the vessel open and increase your blood flow.
You may feel a slight discomfort (pin prick) when the needle is inserted into your vein, and mild pressure when the balloon is expanded because your artery is being stretched, but not severely intense pain. This is good news, right? What's better is that your discomfort should lessen as the balloon is deflated and removed before the stent is inserted.
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Yes, you will most likely experience some pain after the procedure. Dialysis patients have noted that the insertion site was bruised and sore after Declotting. For that reason you may be prescribed one or more pain killers like aspirin, or blood thinners such as Plavix, Lovenox or Coumadin.
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After you return home, you should rest and avoid lifting heavy objects and strenuous exercise. If bleeding begins then lie down, apply pressure to the site, and call your physician. Also, if there are any changes in color in your leg or arm (depending on where your dialysis access is located), continued pain or a warm feeling in the area where the catheter was inserted, you should promptly report it to your Physician.
Here is an important take away point: The Declotting procedure is relatively safe with limited risk and is much safer than complete surgery. Do not be overly concerned about the procedure, it is typically outpatient (does not require an overnight stay). Be sure to visit KidneyBuzz.com every day for fresh, breaking Daily News & Information like this, which is applicable to Chronic Kidney Disease and Diabetic patients' lives in real-time.
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