Dialysis Access Management

Dialysis is a process used to treat patients whose kidneys are not working properly. It involves a special machine and tubing that removes blood from the body, cleanses it of waste and extra fluid and then returns it back to the body. In order for a person to undergo dialysis, a physician first creates access to your blood vessel. Dialysis access lies completely beneath your skin and is usually in your arm, but sometimes in the leg, and allows blood to be removed and returned quickly, efficiently, and safely during dialysis. Access is made using one of three methods:

  • A fistula, which is made by joining together an artery and vein to make a bigger high-flow blood vessel.
  • A graft, in which a soft plastic tube is placed between an artery and a vein, creating an artificial high-flow blood vessel.
  • Catheter access, in which a narrow plastic tube is inserted into a large vein in the neck or groin.

We can help you manage your dialysis access

If fistulas or grafts become clogged or narrowed, dialysis is not successful. The interventional radiologists at Advanced Radiology can use imaging to help them to fix the problem. Our radiologists use imaging to guide a catheter (a long, thin plastic tube) in to an artery or vein and advance it to the problem area—the narrowing or blockage that is limiting blood flow.

Dialysis Access Management is available at following Advanced Radiology locations

Call to Schedule: 203-386-3164

Stratford – 2876 Main Street, performed in Advanced Interventional Radiology department
St. Vincent’s Medical Center
Yale New Haven Health System’s Bridgeport Hospital


Installing dialysis access is minimally invasive and is an outpatient procedure. You will be sedated when our radiologists place your dialysis access. You may experience some soreness and swelling which is usually easily treated with medication. We do Nephrostomy tube changes only. We check for blockage in the catheter.

You should fast—have no food—for the 4 hours prior to the exam.