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Arteriovenous Graft Creation for Hemodialysis

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jan 5, 2023.

What do I need to know about an arteriovenous graft (AVG) creation?

An AVG creation is surgery to connect an artery to a vein using a graft. A graft is an artificial tube. You may need an AVG if your artery and vein cannot be directly joined together for hemodialysis. The AVG is usually placed in your forearm or upper arm.

How do I prepare for an AVG creation?

  • Your surgeon will talk to you about how to prepare. He or she may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. Arrange to have someone drive you home when you are discharged.
  • Tell your surgeon about all your current medicines. He or she will tell you if you need to stop any medicine for surgery, and when to stop. He or she will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery.
  • Tell your surgeon about all your allergies, including to antibiotics or anesthesia. You may be given an antibiotic to help prevent a bacterial infection.

What will happen during an AVG creation?

  • You may be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. You may instead be given local or regional anesthesia to numb the surgery area. With local or regional anesthesia, you may still feel pressure or pushing during surgery, but you should not feel pain.
  • Your surgeon will make an incision in your arm. He or she will connect your artery and vein with the graft.
  • Your incision will be closed with stitches and covered with a bandage.

What should I expect after an AVG creation?

  • Healthcare providers will monitor you until you are awake. They will feel the area over your AVG for a thrill, and listen for a bruit. A thrill is a vibration, and a bruit is a humming noise. A bruit and a thrill mean that blood is moving through your AVG properly. A healthcare provider will show you how to feel for a thrill.
  • Your arm may feel sore for several days after your surgery.
  • You may have mild bruising or swelling near your wound.
  • Your wound may drain a few drops of blood or pink fluid for 24 hours.
  • Your AVG will take 2 to 3 weeks to heal. Then it can be used for hemodialysis.

What are the risks of an AVG creation?

You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Your AVG may become narrow or blocked. This may stop blood flow through your AVG, or to your arm or hand. You may need surgery to fix this or create another AVG. You may get a blood clot in your arm or leg. This may become life-threatening.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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