Skip to Content
Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Vascular Access Failure
Dialysis is a lifesaving treatment when you have kidney failure. To keep up a regular dialysis schedule, you need a sturdy dialysis access where blood can flow in and out of the body. It must have a good, steady blood flow.
Any type of dialysis access has some risk of failure. So it's important to always protect your access and be alert for signs of clotting or infection.
If your dialysis access fails, it will be repaired or replaced. You and your doctor will choose your next best option for dialysis access.
There are two permanent access types:
If you need to start dialysis right away, your doctor may place a tube in a vein, usually in your neck or chest. This is called a central venous catheter. You can use it while your permanent access heals.
Every day, check your access to be sure it's in good condition. Pay attention to how you feel. Call your doctor or dialysis team right away if you have any signs of
infection or a blood clot, swelling, or unusual skin color.
When a dialysis access fails, your doctor needs to quickly repair or replace it so you can keep up with your dialysis sessions.
For fistula or graft surgery, you will be asleep or get medicine to feel relaxed.
If your access is repaired or you get a fistula, you will probably go
home the same day as the surgery. If you get a graft, you may spend 1 night
at the hospital. You will probably need to take 1 or 2 days off from
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal MedicineE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerTushar J. Vachharajani, MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology
Current as ofNovember 20, 2015
Current as of:
November 20, 2015
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Tushar J. Vachharajani, MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Send Us Your Feedback
North Kansas City Hospital