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A 27-year-old member asked:

What does a dialysis fistula actually do?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kevin Griffiths
Specializes in Nephrology and Dialysis
Access to blood: At dialysis needles are inserted into a fistual so bad blood (blood with abnormal electrolytes and toxins) are taken from your body and brought to the dialysis machine. Then the good blood (blood with good electrolytes and free of toxins) are brought back to your body through the other needle in the fistula. The fistula provides the avenue where your blood can be treated.
Dr. Robert WorthingtonKirsch
Phlebology 36 years experience
"short circuit": A patient who is on dialysis needs the machine to clean toxins from the blood that the kidneys usually do. The patient's blood needs to get out of the body, through the machine, and back into the body. A dialysis fistula is made by sewing a vein to an artery. This short-circuits the blood flow and the vein becomes dilated because it experiences arterial pressures. This can be used for access.

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Last updated Aug 6, 2019

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