Dialysis Access Clinic

 

dialysis1Dr. Mark Dierhoi evaluates a dialysis access patient prior to her planned operation.

Program Highlights

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Kidney-Pancreas Transplant faculty have busy elective dialysis access practices.  Almost 1,000 operative cases are performed each year. A strong emphasis is placed on "Fistula First," and in coordination with referring nephrologists, patients with chronic kidney disease are preferably seen prior to initiating dialysis.  Efforts are made to surgically create a native fistula before considering a prosthetic graft.  For patients with challenging vascular anatomy, the faculty has considerable experience with advanced vascular access procedures.  A close relationship with theDepartment of Radiology is maintained for both surveillance and rescue of fistulas and grafts.

Placement of catheters for peritoneal dialysis is also offered. Patients with a history of prior abdominal surgery will benefit from our experience with laparoscopic exploration and adhesiolysis.  Additionally, pre-sternal peritoneal dialysis catheter placement is available in selected cases.

Patient-Centered Approach

Patients are cared for by a multidisciplinary team that includes surgeons, nephrologists, physician assistants, nurses, and access coordinators. A highlight of the program is the dedicated team of dialysis access coordinators who help arrange for clinic visits, surgeries, and interventional procedures, and maintain a constant line of communication among referring nephrologists, access surgeons, and patients.

Facilities

Dialysis access surgery is performed in UAB's new, state-of-the-art operating complex. Facilities for advanced laparoscopy are available for peritoneal dialysis. Diagnostic radiology services are offered at The Kirklin Clinic, and interventional procedures are performed in the new Heart and Vascular Center at UAB. The dialysis access clinic is located within the main hospital at the Russell Clinic.

Dialysis Access Coordinators

Again, a highlight of the program is the dedicated team of dialysis access coordinators who help arrange for clinic visits, surgeries, and interventional procedures, and maintain a constant line of communication among referring nephrologists, access surgeons, and patients.

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