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Fistula maintenance

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  • Fistula maintenance

    Is it normal to have to get your fistula maintained every 3 months?
    My mother started using her fistula in September without any problems. In December, the technicians had a difficult time with the fistula and she could not get her treatment for that day. I was told she needed to get her fistula maintained at a vascular center that they provided. I was not given any more information or details by the DaVita techs as to what was happening other than "we cannot access her and she needs to get her fistula maintained".

    At the vascular center they did an angioplasty because the doctor found a "narrowing" in her vein. At her 3 month follow-up at the vascular center the doctor again found the narrowing in her vein but this time put a stent in that area. She still has a three month follow-up appointment coming up. She hasn't had any problems with the fistula since her first appointment at the vascular center. My concern is that these procedures require her to be under anesthesia and they use contrast in order to look at her veins. I recall that before she was a dialysis patient her nephrologist was very strict about her not getting procedures done that require contrast. So now that she is a dialysis patient does it make it OK to use contrast?

    So is that a normal process to have to get your fistula maintained regularly? Has anyone else experienced this?