An AV fistula can be created by directly connecting a person's artery and vein—usually in the arm. This procedure may be done as an outpatient operation using a local anesthetic. As blood flows to the vein from the newly connected artery, the vein grows bigger and stronger. The patient is taught to do exercises like squeezing a rubber ball to help the fistula strengthen and mature to get it ready for use. This may take anywhere from six weeks to four months or more. Once the fistula has matured, it will provide good blood flow for many years of hemodialysis. Arteriovenous fistulas are often surgically created for use in dialysis in people with severe kidney disease.
Without this kind of access, regular hemodialysis sessions would not be possible. Untreated veins cannot withstand repeated needle insertions, because they would collapse the way a straw collapses under strong suction.
Advantages of AV Fistuala :
- Provides good blood flow for dialysis.
- Lasts longer than other types of access.
- Is less likely to get infected or cause blood clots than other types of access