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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
515 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?'

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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What does it mean to be fitted with a fistula for dialysis?

Surgery: Arm vein connected to arm artery. The vein is used for dialysis access once it has been allowed to grow in size ( maturing ). ...Read more

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What does an av fistula for dialysis mean?

What does an av fistula for dialysis mean?

Arteriovenous fistul: It is an arteriovenous fistula. It is a surgical connection of an artery and a vein. Once "mature", it is where they insert the needles for the blood to flow to the dialysis machine. It can take 3 months or so from "creation" until it is ready to use. ...Read more

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Should bloodpressure be taken in arm where fistula made for dialysis?

Should bloodpressure be taken in arm where fistula made for dialysis?

No: If you take BP and tighten a cuff above the fistula, clotting can occur and clog the fistula. Distally, there is already a steal of blood flow due to the fistula so you don't want to tighten a cuff there unless there is nowhere else to go. ...Read more

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Why do physicians use metal needles to access dialysis fistula?

Why do physicians use metal needles to access dialysis fistula?

It is less traumatic: Usually specially-trained nurses or technicians access dialysis fistulas, not physicians. Metal needles are used to help penetrate the skin and the thickened wall of the vein accurately and with minimal trauma. Sometimes blunt needles are used (if a buttonholing technique is being employed). ...Read more

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What is the process of decloting an av fistula for dialysis patients?

Two methods : There are two methods: mechanical or chemical. Occasionally both methods are used. In general, the doctor accesses the av graft or fistula with a needle and places a tube into the graft. He then uses wires and catheters to cross the clot and inject clot busting meds. There are devices he can use that also break up clot. Or, he can open the graft and use special balloons to pull clot out. ...Read more

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On dialysis patient having some problems all fistula are failed and both juglar are block and capd also non working further what I do I m a tech pl?

Transplant?: Are you a transplant candidate? If not and you need hemodialysis an interventional radiologist can likely evaluate you for and subsequently place a dialysis catheter directly into your inferior vena cava. Check with your nephrologist or surgeon for an appropriate referral. ...Read more

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What is the purpose of a AV fistula for dialysis patients? I can't find anything good on the internet to explain this, please add link if you have one

High flow: An A-V fistula creates a peripheral region of high blood flow so that a large volume of blood can be removed and returned to the body for the "cleaning" done by the dialysis machine. ...Read more

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During dialysis why does the subclavian catheter have darker blood than in patients with a fistula?

Venous blood: A subclavian catheter has only venous, deoxygenated blood returning from the body. A fistula contains oxygenated arterial blood coming from the heart. This is the reason for the bright red blood seen in fistulas. ...Read more

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For a dialysis, why is the subclavian catheter has darker blood rather than in patient with fistula?

For a dialysis, why is the subclavian catheter has darker blood rather than in patient with fistula?

Catheter vs fistula: An a-v fistula (avf) is a connection between an artery and a vein, that's why its called an a, for artery, v, for vein, fistula. Arterial blood has more oxygen, making it redder, than venous blood. A subclavian catheter has both blood tubes in the vein, where there is less oxygenated blood, as it does not have any arterial inflow. That's why it has darker blood than an avf. ...Read more

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I am a dialysis patient for 2 yrs. I lift 5 to 10 pds of weights, is it okay for my av fistula. And what can I take to build muscle?

I am a dialysis patient for 2 yrs. I lift 5 to 10 pds of weights, is it okay for my av fistula. And what can I take to build muscle?

AVF and weights: The answer to your question about lifting weights being ok for your avf is "yes". You need to speak to your renal dietician about what you can eat to build up muscle. Good luck. ...Read more

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What are cosmetic surgery options for scarring/bumps after having a dialysis fistula on your arm?

What are cosmetic surgery options for scarring/bumps after having a dialysis fistula on your arm?

Scar Revision: Scars can sometimes be improved with the following methods: 1) passage of time; 2) protection from sun; 3) dermabrasion or laser resurfacing; 4) steroid injection; 5) silicone topical therapy; 6) cosmetics (for camouflage); 7) surgical revision. The methods taht will work best for you will depend on factors seen during an exam. Hope this helps! ...Read more

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Is there a cosmetic procedure to remove the bumps on the arm caused by a dialysis fistula?

Depends on cause: Bumps must be looked at to determine their nature. Cannot answer without seeing and palpating the sites. ...Read more

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I am dialysis patient. Doing since last 6 years. I had line in my neck n when they remove it got clot. Caz of that my fistula hand is swelled.

I am dialysis patient. Doing since last 6 years. I had line in my neck n when they remove it got clot. Caz of that my fistula hand is swelled.

Venous Hypertension: The fistula causes increase blood flow through the veins draining the arm. If the veins are blocked or narrowed (both possible because of long term dialysis catheter) the increased pressure causes more fluid to collect in the arm and cause swelling. An interventional radiologist might be able to treat the narrowing with a baloon dilation and stunting. ...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