Dialysis Catheter

A dialysis catheter is placed to circulate the blood outside into the dialysis machine. Dialysis is performed to clean the blood of waste products. It is performed when kidneys are damaged and are unable to clean the blood. The tunnel dialysis catheter is placed to gain quick access to blood flow for dialysis. People having this catheter placed correctly don’t need multiple needlesticks every time they visit a dialysis center.

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How is a Dialysis Catheter placed?

Before the procedure, you will be asked about any allergies you are suffering from or about medicines you are using. The physician will advise you to stop certain medicines before the procedure. You may be requested for an overnight fast before placing the catheter in place.
During the procedure:
  • You will lie on the procedure table, and a small incision will be made in the lower neck.
  • Before giving the incision, your physician will numb the area with local anesthesia and will clean the area with an antiseptic solution to avoid the risk of infections.
  • The physician will gain access to the jugular vein with the help of a needle and will insert a guidewire into a large vein called vena cava.
  • After that, the physician will give a second incision in the chest below the 1st incision by applying local anesthesia and will make a tunnel between the two incisions. Before giving an incision, he will clean the area with an antiseptic solution.
  • After that, he will insert a flexible dialysis catheter through the 2nd incision to the 1st incision, from where the catheter is passed to the final position with the help of a guidewire.
  • When the catheter reaches its final position, the guidewire is removed.
  • The physician will ensure that the catheter is placed properly and blood is flowing through it. X-rays will be performed to evaluate the position of the catheter.
  • The physician will secure the catheter in place with stitches. The first incision is closed with the help of stitches, while the 2nd one is stitched around the catheter.
  • Both areas will be dressed to avoid the risk of infections.
  • It takes less than 1 hour to place the dialysis catheter correctly in its place. You may feel pain after the procedure that can be relieved by proper pain management. You should keep the catheter dressing clean and dry. If you notice any swelling or infection, consult your physician immediately.
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