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Cardiovascular Institute

Hemodialysis Access

FistulaWe offer a dedicated clinic for patients who need ongoing kidney dialysis. Our surgeons are highly experienced at creating natural fistulas (dialysis access points) and dialysis grafts, as well as implanting dialysis catheters to access the bloodstream. When needed, these same surgeons use a wide variety of technologies to view and reopen blocked fistulas. Many blockages can be cleared using specially designed equipment or clot-busting medications—often eliminating the need for additional surgery. We are proud that the dialysis unit at AGH has the highest rate among all Pennsylvania dialysis units of primary (autogenous) arteriovenous fistulas. This is the result of our surgeons’ efforts to avoid using artificial grafts for dialysis surgery. Instead, we use the patient’s own veins, in accordance with the “Fistula-First” initiative sponsored by the National Kidney Foundation.

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