An arteriovenous fistula (AVF) is a surgical connection created between an artery and a vein,
usually in the arm. This connection allows for increased blood flow through the vein, which
makes it easier to perform hemodialysis.
AVFs are commonly used in patients with end-stage renal disease who require hemodialysis
treatments. The AVF provides a reliable and long-lasting access point for the hemodialysis
machine to remove and return blood during each treatment.
AVFs are preferred over other types of vascular access, such as arteriovenous grafts or
central venous catheters, because they have a lower risk of complications, such as infections
or clotting, and can last for many years with proper care. In addition, AVFs provide better
blood flow rates, which can improve the efficiency of hemodialysis treatments and reduce
the risk of complications.
The creation of an AVF typically requires a minor surgical procedure, which is performed
under local anesthesia. After the procedure, the patient will need to take special care to
protect the AVF and avoid any trauma to the arm. Regular monitoring and follow-up with
the nephrologist is also important to ensure that the AVF is functioning properly and to
manage any potential complications.