Home > Uncategorized > Fistulagram Images, World Kidney Day (better late than never).

Fistulagram Images, World Kidney Day (better late than never).

I have the fluoroscopy images from my fistulagram/fistulaplasty last Friday. The Interventional Radiologist was kind enough to give me still images (he “anonymized” them for me) of various stages of the procedure. I’ve posted them below.

This procedure made me think of the advancements in medicine since I’ve been born. My mother started dialysis in 1976. At the time, she had a temporary access called a shunt, which was a Teflon tube inserted in her wrist. They worked, but were very low tech compared to today, and they had a risk of coming out, which would lead to massive blood loss. She then went and had fistulas created in her arm, but they never matured. She finally ended up with a bovine graft in the front of her thigh; the doctor’s grafted a cow’s blood vessel between her artery and vein, and that lasted a while; she ended up with another in her other leg when the first one no longer worked. Her solution to go to dialysis without having to remove her pants was to sew a long zipper in the front of her pant leg; all she did was unzip it, and the graft was easily accessible.

Back then, they didn’t have interventional radiology to fix your dialysis access. If anything needed to be done, it was back to the OR. Today, the technology is available to assess and maintain dialysis accesses WITHOUT going to the OR. Other advantages I have now that my mother didn’t: better meds for phosphorous control (very important; high phosphorous levels lead to weakened bones and plaques in blood vessels), hormone therapy to control anemia (erythropoietin), bicarbonate use in dialysis (prior to bicarb, patients would invariably get nauseated with each treatment), better dialysis machines, meds to control Hyperparathyroidism, etc.

For those in a situation similar to mine (parent or other close relative who had CKD/ESRD20or moreyears ago), Ijust want you to know that the outlook is much brighter, and the treatments more tolerable.

Yesterday was World Kidney Day. Take a moment to take a quiz about the kidneys; it’s very informative. Unfortunately, many people (including myself), don’t realize how important they are until you they don’t work. For those of you who also have CKD, please check out Krissi’s “My Kidney Blog” for a cool blogging contest and a blog from another optimistic CKD’r.Who knows; maybe we can start up a “kidney blog ring”?

This shows the guidewire (with balloon at the end)after it was inserted into my fistula; the guidewire is used to guide the balloon into the fistula and up into my chest.

No, those are not sausages in my arm; they are areas of stenosis and aneurysms.

This shows the balloon after it was inflated.

The end result after the ballooning.

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