In some patients with kidney disease, their own kidneys are unable to adequately cleanse the blood and regulate the body’s homeostasis.

In these cases, dialysis is required. Dialysis is a process in which the toxins are removed and the electrolyte balance restored by a machine.

In order to perform this role, the dialysis machine requires access to the blood system. This may be achieved in a number of ways.

Access to the body can be achieved through a Tenckhoff catheter placed in the abdomen. This type of access requires more frequent dialysis of a different type.

Access directly to the blood can be achieved with a permacath, which is usually placed into the veins in the lower neck/upper chest. Despite its name, it is usually considered to be a temporary solution.

More permanent access to the blood stream can be achieved by forming an Arterio-Venous fistula. This is a direct connection between an arm artery and vein, which increases the flow and pressure of flow in the vein, allowing its use for dialysis.