Home > AV graft, DaVita Dialysis, dialysis > Graft Issues…not QUITE so scary anymore!

Graft Issues…not QUITE so scary anymore!

Well, Mark had another appointment with Dr. DeLaura at Image Guided Surgery today to get his graft cleaned out. It’s been bleeding for a longer time the last few dialysis treatments. When I say bleeding longer, it means that the time required to clot (after the needles are removed) went from about 6-7 minutes to 15-17 minutes. That’s a long time — especially when you consider that it adds to the total time at the dialysis center!

Dr. DeLaura told Mark that he didn’t see anything structurally wrong with the graft (always a good sign!!). He cleaned it out, and sent Mark on his merry way.

This made me think of the very first time that Mark’s graft clotted and they couldn’t perform dialysis. They sent him to “The Access Center”. I think it was in West Orange, NJ. It was a pretty scary thing (hard to tell if Mark was scared since he has a “it is what it is” attitude.”) I didn’t know that the graft could clot. No one ever told us that. I didn’t know that they could clear it out with angioplasty. The way that the dialysis center made it sound was that he had a blood clot. That is MUCH different from a clotted dialysis graft. I know my imagination ran away with me, and I was thinking surgery to replace the graft, a new catheter in his chest, or even worse…. death!

Now, three years later, I know that these things are (generally) able to be fixed, and that the graft can be cleared out. While there are always risks and dangers, this is no longer one of the things about kidney failure that terrifies me. But believe me, there are many NEW things that have taken its place!!!

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