Dialysis Access Surgery

Dialysis access surgery is a procedure that provides access to a patient’s body in preparation for renal replacement therapy, including hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis.

Compassionate Healing Starts Here

Click below to learn more about where you can find compassionate care.

A diagnosis that leads to transplant can feel overwhelming. We understand what you’re experiencing and are here to support you and your family every step of the way. Our experienced team includes experts on everything from your surgery to your medication to your emotional well-being.

To schedule an appointment, please call the Kidney & Pancreas Transplant team at 513-584-7001.

Help Along the Way

Answers to Your Dialysis Access Surgery Questions

Dialysis-related surgeries are procedures to provide access to a patient’s body in preparation for renal replacement therapy. At UC Health, we offer: 

Hemodialysis (AV Fistula Surgery)

Hemodialysis is a type of treatment for kidney failure (end-stage kidney disease or ESRD). It uses a machine that holds a filter called a dialyzer. As blood flows through the dialyzer, waste is removed and fluid and chemicals are balanced. 

Two needles are inserted into a blood vessel (called an arteriovenous fistula or AV fistula) or arteriovenous graft (or AV graft), usually in your arm. Each needle is attached to a tube. One tube carries your blood into the dialyzer, where it's cleaned. Clean blood returns to your body through a second tube and needle.

Peritoneal Dialysis 

Another type of dialysis access surgery is known as peritoneal dialysis. Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is a way to cleanse the blood to treat kidney failure. It uses the lining of your abdomen called the peritoneal membrane and a special solution (dialysate). 

Dialysate is put inside your belly (abdomen) through a plastic tube (catheter). This catheter is surgically placed into your abdomen. 

The abdomen is filled with dialysate through the catheter and allowed to remain (dwell) for four4 to six6 hours. The membrane and dialysate then work to clean the blood. The dialysate needs to be changed every few hours.

The HeRO Graft is a specialized arteriovenous hemodialysis access graft for patients with central vein stenosis.  This HeRO graft allows for more vascular access options in patients who would otherwise be deemed exhausted and have to rely on lower extremity options, or dialysis catheter dependence.

Patients will discuss their dialysis options with their nephrologist and undergo the appropriate vessel imaging before being seen for a surgical consultation. They are then evaluated in our outpatient office and educated again on all their renal replacement therapy modality options.  

Based on the patients’ health, surgical history and personal preference, the team chooses the best long-term surgical option. The patient is then provided with a surgery date and pre/post-op instructions.

Patients with kidney disease who require renal replacement therapy are potential candidates for dialysis-related surgery.  Depending on their medical and surgical histories and lifestyle preference, the patient and the multidisciplinary team decides the most appropriate surgery.

Generally, all of these other traditional cancer treatments are used with these patients.  Our patient underwent chemo, two surgeries on the liver, ablation to the liver, external radiation to the liver, liver-directed radiation therapy and more chemotherapy.  When all of these options fail to cure the disease and there is no surgical option left, liver transplant is a means to definitively treat these patients by removing and replacing the only known site of their metastatic disease – the liver. 

Why UC Health

Experience and Expertise

Comprehensive Care

We are a multidisciplinary team of transplant surgeons, interventional radiologists and nephrologists working together to provide comprehensive care to our patients to provide the best long-term outcomes.

Innovative Options

We are the only healthcare system in the region to offer the placement of the HeRO graft, a specialized arterio-venous graft used in patients with central vein stenosis.

Regional Expertise

We provide the most comprehensive treatment center in the region, offering surgical expertise for all three modalities, including hemodialysis vascular access, peritoneal dialysis placement and management, as well as education and referral to kidney transplant.

Partner With Us

Referring Physicians: Success and Provider Toolbox

We are committed to providing optimal care to your patient and open communication with you. We understand that as a referring physician, you need to be kept informed on your patient’s progress. That’s why we set up a toolbox to share detailed information about your patient’s health with you.

For referral information, call:

Contact Us

At UC Health, we lead the region in scientific discoveries and embrace a spirit of purpose – offering our patients and their families something beyond everyday healthcare. At UC Health, we offer hope.