• Access

    Access means to reach. In order to perform dialysis, we first need to reach the blood stream of the patient. In hemodialysis, this access is established through any one of the following 3 ways:

  • Catheter < Back   

    A dialysis catheter is a soft tube placed either in the neck or leg. It is a temporary access as it has a short life. This option is considered only for sudden cases of kidney failure who require immediate and short term dialysis for example - cases of acute kidney injury. Such patients may require few sessions dialysis and then their natural kidneys may take over its function again. However, in case of chronic kidney disease (CKD), the natural kidneys cannot take over their function and hence, they require lifelong dialysis. Such patients are not candidates for dialysis catheters rather they need an A V fistula.

    Tips for dialysis catheter care:
    • Keep your catheter dressing dry (avoid showering)
    • Avoid wearing tight clothing.
    • Keep your dressing clean & make sure your dressing is changed at each session by your Nurse or dialysis technician.
    • In case of occurrence of fever or chills or any bleeding from the catheter site, contact your dialysis centre immediately.
    • Never open your catheter or expose it to open air.
  • A V Fistula < Back   

    A V fistula is a route made surgically by joining an artery to a vein. Construction of A V fistula is a minor surgery which is done by a Vascular Surgeon. Once it is constructed, it cannot be used immediately for dialysis. It needs 4 – 6 weeks to mature (blood vessels need to become strong enough to allow a rapid flow of blood through it).

    Exercising your arm before and after surgery may encourage a fistula’s development and maturation. Once mature, a fistula is easier for the dialysis staff to puncture in order to get a good blood flow needed for dialysis.

  • Graft < Back   

    A graft is a surgical connection of an artery and a vein by a synthetic tube. In case your veins are poor then a fistula may not be possible and in such cases a graft remains the next choice. It requires lesser time than A V fistula to develop. It can be used after 2 weeks of construction.



Catherization is recommended in an emergency.
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A V Fistula


Fistula is the most stable method for Dialysis
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Graft is only recomended if your veins are weak
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  • Least preferred choice
  • High chances of infection
  • Patient unfriendly
  • Short life (depending on the type of catheter, life can be between 1 month to 1 year)
  • Best choice
  • Least chances of infection
  • Patient friendly
  • Long lasting (can last for more than 10 years)
  • If veins are poor, this is second best alternate to fistula
  • Lower chances of infection
  • Patient friendly
  • Fairly long life (3 – 5years)