Northwest Renal Network
4702 42nd Avenue SW
Seattle, WA 98116
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why should I get an AV Fistula?
AVF’s with proper care tend to last the longest for dialysis and require fewer interventions.
2. How do I get an AV Fistula?
You may initiate this discussion with the physician or nurse in your dialysis clinic.
3. I don’t like needles, how do I cope with the pain & fear?
There is no denying that an AV Fistula requires the insertion of two needles into the access site. You might ask your clinic or physician if smaller needles can be used or as many patients do, learn to place your own needles. Please inquire with clinic staff about the “Buttonhole” technique. You might also try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises.
4. How do I care for my AV Fistula after my dialysis treatment?
You will be required to hold pressure at the needle sites to stop the bleeding. Keeping it clean is very important. You will also monitor your access on “off ” dialysis days for the “thrill” or buzzing associated with your AV Fistula.
5 Reasons to Consider an A-V Fistula:
1. Fewer infections
2. Fewer hospitalizations
3. Fewer problems with clotting
4. Better blood flow for better treatments
5. Usually last years, compared to weeks or months for other access types
Created By ESRD Network 17; Images reproduced by permission from the Society for Vascular Surgery.
Page updated December 27, 2019