One important step before starting hemodialysis treatment is having minor surgery to create a vascular access. Your vascular acces will be your lifeline through which you’ll connect to the dialyzer. Dialysis moves blood through the filter at a high rate. Blood flow is very strong. The machine withdraws and returns almost a pint of blood to your body every minute. The access will be the place on your body where you insert needles to allow your blood flow from and return to your body at a high rate during dialysis.
Three types of vascular access exist:
- An arteriovenous (AV) fistula
- An arteriovenous (AV) graft
- A catheter