Dialysis, the most common treatment for kidney failure, requires easy access to the circulation system. The process involves removing waste substances and fluid from the blood that are normally eliminated by the kidneys.
UMMC vascular surgeons create a portal beneath the skin, usually in the arm, to allow blood to be circulated and cleaned through an artificial kidney machine. There are two types of portals: a fistula connecting an artery to a vein; and a graft, a plastic tube to form the connection, which increases blood flow through the vein. The surgeon will determine which type of access is best for you, depending on your medical needs and health.