Angioplasty refers to the opening of a narrowing (stenosis) within your dialysis access, arteries, or veins that may be causing problems with the proper function of your access. There are a number of reasons your access may need to have an angioplasty done. Some of those are:
- Failing dialysis labs (URR of KT/V)
- Prolonged bleeding
- Difficult cannulation (placement of needles)
- Pulling clots
- Arm or facial swelling
- Infiltrations / Bruising
The cause of a narrowing is controversial but likely is a combination of surgical scarring, increased blood flow into the access from the artery, and repeated use with associated scarring which naturally occurs in your body.
Angioplasty involves placing a balloon catheter into the area of narrowing and, under X-ray guidance, stretching open the vessel. This is performed to diminish or completely correct the areas of narrowing. Although it varies widely, it is not uncommon for these narrowed areas to recur and for which repeat angioplasty treatments may be necessary. For this reason, your doctor may request a follow up appointment. It is very important that you make your best attempt to keep those appointments as well.
The repair of these areas of narrowing is important maintenance of your access and will hopefully keep your access functioning well for as long as possible. We work closely with your surgeon(s) and your dialysis nurses and technicians to assure a successful access be placed and maintained for the duration of time you require dialysis.
If at any time, you have questions about your procedure or dialysis access contact us our Southfield or Rochester access centers directly or contact your kidney specialist.