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The Graft Strikes Again….

June 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Well, we were told that grafts and fistulas often clot … or stop working all together. We know this first hand because we’ve had this happen. It seems that there is no specific “clue” as to when they will clot or stop working. For Mark, it just seems to be a variety of signs.

Mark was due to have his three month check up at Image Guided Surgery and Aesthetics later in the month. But he started having some excessive bleeding after his needles were removed. Usually he clots in about 5-8 minutes, but it has gone on much longer in the past few dialysis session.

He called Image Guided Surgery, and Eric (the manager there) was able to get him in on Saturday (which they reserve for emergencies only). We had an 8:30 AM appointment which is not so bad considering that the traffic on the Garden State Parkway is wonderfully light on Saturdays.

The problem that Mark was having was a combination of scar tissue build up around the stitches (where the bovine graft is sewn to the vein) and a narrowing of the graft due to the build up.

The procedure is done in the office, and it does not take all that long. Mark is given some medication to make him sleepy, and an incision is made in his arm, and a balloon is inserted through the graft and into his heart. It clears the clot and widens the graft. Then he sits for about 30 minutes to allow for the single stitch to clot. The stitch is removed, and we were good to go home.

It’s amazing how they care for this graft. So all is good right now…. We are scheduled to go back to get the graft checked at the end of August…

Here’s to a healthy summer!

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Categories: kidney disease