Patients that require hemodialysis need to have a way that they can be hooked up to the machine.
A temporary catheter or “permacath” can be placed into the vein in the neck, but these are usually only put in for a very short period of time because of the risk of infection. Your surgeon may also recommend placement of an AV fistula or AV graft. This is a surgical connection between an artery and a vein that is made in the arm. This is a long-term solution. It is often recommended in patients that are not yet on dialysis but know that it is inevitable. An AV fistula is placed in advance so that it is ready to be used when needed. If you have an AV fistula or graft it it is important that you feel it daily to make sure that it still has a thrill (a vibration feeling over the fistula).