In the case of kidney failure, unless and until you have a successful kidney transplant, you will need dialysis therapy to filter your blood. The first step is your surgeon will need to establish dialysis access.
Establishing access involves an incision made between the artery and vein, and the vessels to be joined are prepared. If your surgeon is creating a fistula he/she may divide the vein and sew one end to the side of the artery or may sew the two vessels side-to-side without dividing the vein. If a graft is being placed, your surgeon will sew it between the artery and vein. The incision in your arm or leg will be closed upon completion and a sterile dressing will be applied.
Need more information? Visit the Society for Vascular Surgery’s Patient Resources section here.