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Why is a fistula better than a graft or catheter?

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A fistula is a surgically created connection between an artery and a vein. There is no synthetic material. It therefore can last longer, but takes longer to mature. One can achieve much better dialysis through a fistula than a catheter.

An arteriovenous graft is created with synthetic material like GoreTex. It can be used in around two weeks, but does not last as long.

A plastic catheter can be implanted. It's tip enters the right part of the heart. It predisposes to infections and inflammation, does not allow for adequate dialysis and can lead to blockage of the blood vessels. It is associated with a higher mortality.

Patients should be seen by the nephrologist way before they need a catheter so that a fistula can be placed, and has time to mature.
asked Feb 13, 2013 in End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) by anonymous
recategorized Feb 13, 2013 by fadem

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