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  • Chest Port vs. Arm fistula

    I'm facing hemodialysis but I don't like one bit having my arm leave as a bloody mess everytime I'm done. I visit DaVita and it looks like everyone leaving is bloody. I'm thinking that I'd rather have a port put in my chest like you do for chemo and do it that way. Have an extra shirt on and move on.
    Has anyone gone the chest port route? Did it work for you?

  • #2
    Re: Chest Port vs. Arm fistula

    The problem with a cath is the higher risk of infection. I'm on peritoneal, so I dont have either.

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    • #3
      Re: Chest Port vs. Arm fistula

      My husband was on hemodialysis for three months with a chest cath. he had no problems with infection. There were at least a dozen people at the dialysis center and we did not see any major problems with their arm fistula. We were told it had a lot to do with the Doctor that puts the fistulas in. After three months my husband went on pd and has been doing well. There are many adjustmants to be made, but in time your life will become routine. He is presently on a transplant list. Good luck

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      • #4
        Re: Chest Port vs. Arm fistula

        Before becoming a PD patient, I was a hemo tech. Pts with cath are at a huge risk of infection, because the cath goes straight to the heart it is very scary. That is not to say that every pt with a cath got an infection. Cath pts have to take extreme care, follow the precautions set out for you. Some people had caths for a long time with no problems. Fistulas, once they mature are awesome. ( as long as they do mature) DO YOUR EXERCISES!! Sqeeze the fistula ball!! Once they mature the sticks will be smother and the flow better. You have options when it comes to holding your sites after the needles are pulled. I found it best if the pt could hold there own site. If you have to use clamps, dont leave them on for and extended period of time as this can cause clotting. Not good. In my experience they really push fistulas. I my opinion I think you should do your research and do whats best for you.

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        • #5
          Re: Chest Port vs. Arm fistula

          Originally posted by Toastmaster Mike View Post
          I'm facing hemodialysis but I don't like one bit having my arm leave as a bloody mess everytime I'm done. I visit DaVita and it looks like everyone leaving is bloody. I'm thinking that I'd rather have a port put in my chest like you do for chemo and do it that way. Have an extra shirt on and move on.
          Has anyone gone the chest port route? Did it work for you?
          Can't stay on the chest for long time, it is only for temporary. If it stay for long time you get infected and not good for your heart--it clog blood in artery get a heart attack someday. The doctor need to speak with you about this before you went to surgery for fistula.

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          • #6
            Re: Chest Port vs. Arm fistula

            Originally posted by scout View Post
            The problem with a cath is the higher risk of infection. I'm on peritoneal, so I dont have either.

            Peritoneal is different either with hemodialysis.

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            • #7
              Re: Chest Port vs. Arm fistula

              I've had both a catheter and now a fistula (hemodialysis)...as most people here are saying, the catheter is generally only for temporary (emergency?) purposes and if they do stay in, it might be the patient's choice or in some cases, the fact it was too difficult to create a fistula. The risk of infection can be high and great care must be taken as it is close to the heart (as pointed out.) I wanted to keep the catheter because I was terrified of the needles and didn't want a large vein sticking out of my arm (with the creation of a fistula.) I have a fistula now for almost 2 years (on dialysis just over 2 years...started fistula a month into my treatments.) It really is easier and the issue of blood everywhere may depend on the person and/or the techs taking out the needles. I rarely see blood like that in the clinic I attend. I am now putting in and taking out my own needles...this is also an option later down the road...gives you a better sense of control and when putting in the needles, you are the one who knows your arm best and it helps eliminates the pain. I did the sharp needles myself first and now have a 'buttonhole" which requires blunt needles...much easier to use and less painful, too.

              I hope this helps you....the fistula is really not something to worry too much about...it is truly not as bad as you might imagine. Best to talk this through with your doctor and caretakers.

              Best of luck with whatever you decide to do.

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              • #8
                Re: Chest Port vs. Arm fistula

                I currently have a chest catheter and a fistula, and so far have had no trouble with excess bleeding from the fistula. I was absolutely terrified thinking of the fistula, but now I am very anxious for it to be fully mature so the catheter can be removed. I'm so anxious to take an unhibited shower again! Oh, and so far the pain I imagined being stuck by needles has not been as bad as I thought.

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                • #9
                  Re: Chest Port vs. Arm fistula

                  Originally posted by scout View Post
                  The problem with a cath is the higher risk of infection. I'm on peritoneal, so I dont have either.

                  Either one of methods is not feel so good about this because kidneys failure have no choce to handle it. Therefore, one of these methods need to take it.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Chest Port vs. Arm fistula

                    Either one of methods is not feel so good about this because kidneys failure have no choce to handle it. Therefore, one of these methods need to take it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Chest Port vs. Arm fistula

                      Thank you very much everyone for your responses. I decided if I do dialysis I'll do the fistula. I took a tour and spoke with the administrator and that convinced me the chest port is too risky to consider.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Chest Port vs. Arm fistula

                        Originally posted by Toastmaster Mike View Post
                        I'm facing hemodialysis but I don't like one bit having my arm leave as a bloody mess everytime I'm done. I visit DaVita and it looks like everyone leaving is bloody. I'm thinking that I'd rather have a port put in my chest like you do for chemo and do it that way. Have an extra shirt on and move on.
                        Has anyone gone the chest port route? Did it work for you?
                        Hi Mike, if you have a fistula for hemodialysis your arm isnt "a bloody mess" at the end of a session. There is some bleeding, but a temporary dressing is held down on each of the points that the needles were put into your fistula. Then fresh dressings are put on before you leave the unit. For there to be a serious bleed from the fistula is very rare, so really it shouldn't worry you that much.

                        I have a tunnelled chest line, because my first fistula wasn't straight enough to be needled properly, and an operation to straighten it caused it to stop working, and my second fistula suffered two blowouts, three very painful sessions and an inflammation.

                        I have had this chest line as my main method of access for almost a year. But there are two main risks with this means of access, clotting and infections.

                        You can reduce the risk of infection in a chest line by keeping it dry. Don't take showers, and if you take a bath make it as shallow as possible. Better yet, do strip washes only.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Chest Port vs. Arm fistula

                          My husband had to get a femoral cath, due to the fact all of his chest veins were ocluded (blocked). His pic line was in with his pacemaker, since this was all that was keeping the vein open. With his femoral cath, there are no showers or baths, just too high risk of getting the site wet and possible infections. Maybe he will be able to get a PD cath, so we can do peritoneal dialysis at home.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Chest Port vs. Arm fistula

                            Originally posted by quiltlover27 View Post
                            My husband had to get a femoral cath, due to the fact all of his chest veins were ocluded (blocked). His pic line was in with his pacemaker, since this was all that was keeping the vein open. With his femoral cath, there are no showers or baths, just too high risk of getting the site wet and possible infections. Maybe he will be able to get a PD cath, so we can do peritoneal dialysis at home.
                            Hi quiltlover, I do hope you get your wish, good luck.

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