What is a fistulagram?

Most patients with end-stage renal failure require dialysis. This is a process where a machine cleans your blood of toxins when your kidneys can’t do so. One way to access the blood is through a dialysis graft or an arterio-venous fistula located most often in the arm. A fistulogram is a test to look for abnormal areas in the dialysis graft or AV fistula that may be causing problems with dialysis.

Why would you need a fistulagram?

If a dialysis fistula is not working correctly, we can minimally invasively inject x-ray dye and use fluoroscopy to see what the issue might be that is causing problems. These may include areas of blocked veins or arteries (occlusion), abnormal narrowing (stenosis), or areas of abnormal enlargement (pseudoaneurysm).

Risks Involved

Our ability to use imaging guidance and cutting-edge technology minimizes patient risk.  Prior to your procedure, your physician will discuss any potential risks with you.

Conditions to let us know about

Let your doctor know if you currently are pregnant or breast feeding, feeling ill, have a fever, or are taking any blood thinners.

Insurance coverage

Fistulagrams are covered by most private insurance providers as well as Medicare. We will seek authorization from your insurance company prior to your procedure.

Preparing for your procedure

If you are on blood thinners your doctor will instruct you if you need to stop these medications prior to the procedure. If your procedure requires sedation, then you will need a responsible adult to give you a ride home.

Recovering from your procedure

You may possibly receive mild to moderate sedation during your procedure. You will stay in the recovery area until you are ready for discharge. You will be given written post procedure discharge instructions that will advise you about return to normal physical activity. If you have any questions after your procedure, please call the RIA Interventional Suite at 720-493-3406.




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