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In the body, kidneys are organs that filter blood, excrete toxins and extra fluid thus producing urine. Dialysis is a treatment that acts as the kidneys when the kidneys no longer function. Hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis are the two forms of dialysis treatment.  Hemodialysis involves a dialysis treatment machine that uses a filter to remove toxins from the bloodstream. In order for this treatment to be possible, a doctor creates a dialysis access that can be connected with the machine.

FistulaDialysis Fistula Treatment
An arteriovenous fistula is a connection with a vein to an artery creating an access with one’s own tissues. This is the preferred type of access and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid together have created the “Fistula First” initiative. The overall goal of the initiative is to have more patients with arteriovenous fistulas instead of grafts or catheters. Fistulas can still take a few weeks to a couple of months to mature and be used, but exercises such as squeezing a stress ball can be used to promote maturation.

Arteriovenous Graft Treatment A connection between an artery and vein by using a synthetic tube is also known as an arteriovenous graft. An arteriovenous graft acts just as an arteriovenous fistula by using hemodialysis for treatment. This treatment is done by using two needles in the artery and vein graft for removal and replacement of blood. Arteriovenous grafts are synthetic and thus may require more attention.

Tunnel Dialysis Catheter
Tunnel Dialysis Catheter Treatment A catheter for dialysis treatment is usually inserted into a vein in the neck. The catheter is held in place by a cuff under the skin that is also used to keep bacteria out of the body. Catheters are considered a temporary access for dialysis due to a higher incidence of infection. Catheters need to have extra care to prevent irritation and infection from occurring.