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Doctor insights on: What Is The Difference Between A Dialysis Shunt And A Fistula

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Dialysis shunt and dialysis fistula the same?

Dialysis shunt and dialysis fistula the same?

No: A shunt, or graft, is a piece of synthetic tubular material inserted under the skin that dialysis needles insert directly into. A fistula is a connection of your own artery to a vein. Needles are then placed into the vein when the wall thickness matures. ...Read more

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Dr. Quresh Khairullah
507 doctors shared insights

Dialysis (Definition)

Simple answer is that it is a medical technology used primarily to provide an artificial replacement for lost kidney function in people with renal failure. Hemodialysis remove wastes and excess water from the blood by circulating blood outside the body through an external filter, called a dialyzer. Blood and dialysate flow through in opposite directions and the ...Read more


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What is the difference between a fistula and a shunt?

What is the difference between a fistula and a shunt?

Dialysis shunts.: A shunt is a term for the connection that shunts blood from an artery to a vein, bypassing the microscopic network in the tissues that normally connect them. This allows a high blood flow access for pulling blood from the body to the dialysis filter. A fistula is a shunt that has a direct connection of a native artery and native vein, rather than using an artificial tube to make the connection. ...Read more

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What's the difference between a shunt and fistula?

What's the difference between a shunt and fistula?

Fistula vs shunt: Basically, fistulas are natural occurring, abnormal communications between structures (e.g. Between the trachea & the esophagus or between the bladder & the vagina) & shunts are man made communications between structures (e.g. Between an artery & a vein for dialysis or between a cerebral ventricle & the peritoneal cavity for removing excess cerebrospinal fluid in hydrocephalus). ...Read more

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How does a fistula work to dialysis patient?

Arterial Diversion: When an artery is connected to a vein, the vein walls thicken and become muscular (due to the new high arterial pressure). This makes finding the vein easier. More importantly, the large bore needles can be removed and pressure held, with clot forming in the muscular walls, to stop the bleeding. If the veins weren't muscular, putting the needle in and taking it out safely, aren't possible. ...Read more

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How long after dialysis fistula can you go swimming?'

Wound healing: Once the surgical site has healed, you can go swimming. Should be about 2-3 weeks. Get a final ok from your surgeon. ...Read more

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Why is it that if a dialysis patient has a ruptured fistula and is haemorrhaging, you shouldn't place a torniquet proximal to the haemorrhage?

Why is it that if a dialysis patient has a ruptured fistula and is haemorrhaging, you shouldn't place a torniquet proximal to the haemorrhage?

Direct pressure: Hold direct pressure over the leak try to control without clotting the entire fistula or graft, so that it may be salvaged. Tourniquet may stop the bleeding if high enough pressure but may clot the fistula and require more extensive repair. Call 911 and get help and transport. ...Read more

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How do physicians de-clot an av fistula for dialysis patients?

Open or endo: It can be done with tpa (alteplase) (a high-potency medication to dissolve blood clot) and a rotor-rooter device inserted through a needle stick in the access. I tend to make a small incision to remove the clot with a balloon catheter, then do an angioplasty on the area of stenosis (narrowing) which you usually find in the vein or graft. ...Read more

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What does a dialysis fistula actually do?

What does a dialysis fistula actually do?

"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. ...Read more

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What does a fistula for dialysis really look like?

What does a fistula for dialysis really look like?

A fistula: A fistula for dialysis is created by connecting a vein in the arm to an artery and giving it usually 6-8 weeks to mature. A good fistula is anatomically not visible but felt through the thrill and bruit it creates. So you should not be able to know the location of a fistula if it is well done. ...Read more

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Fistula (Definition)

A fistula is an abnormal connection between two places. Most commonly, it originates somewhere in the intestine and communicates to another location in the intestine or in the skin. A fistula can develop after abdominal surgery, with inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, anorectal abscess, and ...Read more


Shunt (Definition)

Device that allows the flow of usually a fluid between two places. Sometimes a shunt may be used during carotid endarterectomy surgery to maintain the blood flow to the brain while the carotid artery ...Read more