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Arteriovenous Graft Creation for Hemodialysis
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
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 for surgery. You may need to stop taking blood thinners 1 week before surgery. Your surgeon may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. He will tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery. You may be given an antibiotic through your IV to help prevent a bacterial infection. Tell a healthcare provider if you have had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic. Ask someone to drive you home and stay with you after surgery.
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 any pain. Your surgeon will make an incision in your arm. He will connect your artery and vein with the graft. Your incision will be closed with stitches and covered with a bandage.
What will happen 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. The presence of 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. After this time, 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.
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