Dialysis Access Care

Vascular Access Centers

Vascular Medicine located in Metairie, LA & Covington, LA

If your kidneys fail to remove waste from your body effectively, you may need dialysis to keep your body’s fluids safely in balance. At Vascular Access Centers of New Orleans and North Shore, the accomplished vascular physicians specialize in preparing patients in Metairie and Covington, Louisiana, and the surrounding areas for dialysis by offering numerous dialysis access procedures, including peripheral arterial angioplasty and stenting, fistulagrams, and fistula maturation. They also provide catheter services and comprehensive dialysis access care so you can enjoy a happier, healthier lifestyle. Call the office or schedule an appointment online for the most comprehensive dialysis access services in Metairie and Covington and the nearby communities.

Dialysis Access Care Q & A

What happens during dialysis?

Under normal circumstances, your kidneys filter waste and extra fluids out of your blood. They also regulate blood levels of minerals like calcium, sodium, and potassium. When your kidneys can’t function due to chronic disease and damage, toxic wastes build up in your blood. That’s when you need dialysis to do the same job as your kidneys.

During hemodialysis, tubes are inserted into your blood vessels and connected to a machine. As blood flows through filters in the machine, waste disappears, and the filtered blood returns to your body.

The second type of dialysis, peritoneal dialysis, flushes your abdomen using a liquid that pulls wastes out of your blood. Wastes are eliminated when the solution drains.

What is dialysis access?

During the late stage of kidney disease, when the kidneys begin to fail, it’s essential to have permanent access to your bloodstream for ongoing and emergency dialysis. The team at the Vascular Access Centers of New Orleans and North Shore create dialysis access in the local area hospitals with one of the following:

  • Arteriovenous (AV) fistula
  • AV graft
  • A tunneled catheter (for temporary access)
  • Central venous access (for temporary access)
  • An abdominal catheter (for home dialysis)


The AV fistula and AV graft are the methods used to create a permanent dialysis access. With an AV fistula, your vascular specialist connects a vein to an artery directly; for an AV graft, they use a soft plastic tube to bridge the connection.

Connecting a vein to an artery allows your blood to quickly flow out and back into your body at the highest possible volume, which is essential for adequate dialysis.

After a fistula is created, it takes weeks or months before it can be used, but once it matures, it lasts a long time when properly cared for. An AV fistula is considered by many as the best option because grafts tend to close more quickly and they’re more likely to become infected.

What is dialysis access maintenance?

The physicians at the Vascular Access Center of New Orleans and North Shore partner with you and your nephrology team to maintain your dialysis access and keep you healthy. These are a few examples of the comprehensive services they provide:


When you encounter problems with dialysis access, a fistulagram offers information that helps diagnose the problem.

Peripheral arterial angioplasty

When a vein or artery used for dialysis access becomes narrowed, a peripheral arterial angioplasty is done to widen the vessel and prevent blockage.

Thrombolysis or thrombectomy

Should your access vein or artery become blocked with a blood clot, thrombolysis breaks it down to restore functioning.

You deserve the type of expert dialysis care available at the Vascular Access Center of New Orleans and North Shore — call the office or book an appointment online today.

For more information, please visit our main site.