Kidney Dialysis Catheter Placement (Permanent or Temporary)

  • Dialysis is a process that filters and cleans the blood when the kidneys can no longer do this on their own.
  • A dialysis catheter (a hollow tube) is necessary for patients undergoing dialysis.
  • The catheter is used for exchanging blood to and from the hemodialysis machine.
  • This procedure is done to place the catheter into the patient’s veins to allow for repeated access to a patient’s blood stream.
  • Tunneled dialysis catheter placement inserts a tube (catheter) under the skin and into a major vein.
  • The tube has two openings. The blood leaves the body through the red opening. It is filtered and cleaned through dialysis. The cleaned blood returns through the blue opening.
  • This procedure is done to allow quick access to blood flow to do dialysis. 

People who have this catheter do not need to have multiple needlesticks at every dialysis visit. This lowers the risk of infection and damage.

The complications are rare, but all procedures have some risk such as Excess bleeding, problems from anesthesia or contrast material, such as wheezing or sore throat, Infection, Blood clots Scarring and narrowing of the vein—venous stenosis or Irregular heart rhythm or Injury to blood vessels or the heart.

Doctors may use ultrasound and x-rays using contrast material  to help locate the vein. It will also help to put the catheters in place.

The catheter will be secured with stitches. Some catheters have a cuff that sits in the tunnel under the skin. This cuff helps keep the tube secure and free of infection. The procedure takes Less than 1 hour.

Recovery; Patient is to expect little pain is common in the first few days while recovery can take 2 to 4 weeks.


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