Home > AV graft > Whoosh…whoosh..goes the graft…

Whoosh…whoosh..goes the graft…

That’s what the graft should feel like when you put your hand on it.  To me, if it feels like water pulsing through a hose, then it is working. When it “thuds” like a heart beat in his arm, that indicates a problem.

Well, the graft is whooshing away again after Dr. DeLaura cleaned it out. According to Mark, who doesn’t always ask questions, the stent was bad and needed to be replaced. They don’t take out the old one but just put a new one inside. At least that is how Mark made it sound. As much as I find going with him to be a time waster for me, I prefer to go because I can ask the questions. I personally would like to know what the procedure entailed, but Mark just cares that it is working.

I’m just glad that they can get it working again. I would not want Mark to have to get a new graft. That would be more surgery, a hospital stay, a catheter in his chest until the graft was ready to use, and more stress for him.

Dr. DeLaura says the graft looks good, and it’s not in need of a replacement. Yet I know how fast things can turn around and take a downhill spin. I remember the bout with sepsis all too well. We are just trying to keep Mark healthy and bide our time until we can get a kidney transplant!

Mark is such a trooper through all of this. I really admire that about him! I’m just glad this little hiccup is over…although sadly, I know this graft will poop out again….but hopefully we can get a few months out of it before that happens!

Thanks Dr. De Leeaura for always doing a great job! And to Alex, the office manager, for going that extra mile!
Sent from my Droid Bionic at 1:30am… Please excuse any typos or other errors that this phone may have made!

Categories: AV graft Tags: , ,
  1. Brenda Coleman
    May 16, 2015 at 8:50 PM

    my son is also having problems with his av graft clotting he just got it declotted a couple of weeks ago for the first time and he just had it done again but this time it was only three days before he has to get it cleared again. I would really like to know why does clots keep forming? there has to be someway to prevent these clots from forming over and over again. my son is 35 and this is no life for such a young man but we just have to do what we have to do to keep him alive which he says alive for what?

    • May 17, 2015 at 8:24 PM

      Hello Brenda,

      First, thank you for reading my blog and for writing a comment. I completely understand AV Graft clotting. Mark used to get his cleared about once a month. It would require a 40 minute road trip on a Saturday morning to have him sedated (twilight) and have angioplasty of the graft performed. It was exhausting for both of us. No one seemed to know why the clots happened. It was speculated that the shape of the graft might cause it. Or his blood was clotting too much at the site of the needle sticks. They put him on Plaxiv to prevent the clots. I am not convinced that worked because we were going about every 6-8 weeks which to me, still seemed WAY too often. There were times that it would clot almost immediately and we’d be back in the office less than a week later.

      The doctor who cleared the clot suggested that the dialysis team use a little more heparin when flushing it out. That seemed to help a little bit, but it was always a crap shoot when it could clot again.

      You are right, dialysis is not much of a life for the patient. Nor is it a barrel of fun for the caregiver. I found that Mark was always exhausted and had ZERO energy. We became complete couch potatoes and what kind of life was that for him? He did get listed for a donor, but he battled a weight problem that prevented him from becoming active on the donor list.

      Is your son on the donor list? How long has he been on dialysis? Mark was on dialysis for 16 months and then had to have his graft redone because he developed sepsis from an infection. In New Jersey, the donor waiting time was about 5-7 years. That is a VERY long time to put your life on hold.

      I am sorry that you and your son have to go through this. I do not wish it on anyone, and it truly is a life altering condition. I am afraid I have not been much help to you, but know that many others are in your (and your son’s position). You are not alone. Your son is not alone.

      My best to you and your son.

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