COVID-19 UPDATE: All elective surgeries and procedures are cancelled until further notice. Please see our latest visitor policy. If you think you may have been exposed or have symptoms, please call your provider before visiting one of our locations. For more information, please visit our online COVID-19 Information Center or call the Montefiore-Einstein COVID-19 Hotline: 1-844-444-CV19 (1-844-444-2819).

ACTUALIZACIÓN SOBRE EL COVID-19: Todas las cirugías y operaciones quedan canceladas hasta nuevo aviso. Lea nuestras nuevas normas para visitas. Si cree que podría haber estado en contacto con la enfermedad o si presenta síntomas, por favor llame a su proveedor antes de acudir a cualquiera de nuestros centros. Más información en nuestro Centro de Información en Línea sobre el COVID-19 o llamando a la línea informativa Montefiore-Einstein de COVID-19: 1-844-444-CV19 (1-844-444-2819).

Vascular Access Surgery and Recovery
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Services and Treatments

Vascular Access Surgery and Recovery

Prior to a vascular access surgery, patients may have an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), blood and urine tests and a chest X-ray to inform the surgeon of their latest health information. Before being taken to the operating room, patients are given a mild tranquilizer for relaxation.

Electrodes, or small metal discs, attached to an electrocardiogram are then placed on the patient's chest to monitor the heart's rhythm and electrical activity. A local anesthetic is given to numb the area where AVF or graft will be placed. Most of the times general anesthesia is not required. Typically IV sedation is all that is needed and is given by an anesthesiologist to make you comfortable during the surgery.

The surgeon will then create the AV fistula or the AV graft in one arm. For patients who are right-handed, the fistula or graft is typically placed in the left arm and vice versa. But this is typically decided prior to surgery by your surgeon during the consultation. Patients who receive an AV graft or AV Fistula will not need to spend the night in the hospital for observation of any potential swelling or redness.

After the surgery, patients may use their arm as they normally do, but are advised to avoid heavy lifting. An AV fistula can get wet 24 to 48 hours after the procedure, but a catheter cannot get wet.

Patients with an AV graft should always be able to feel the blood rushing through it. By placing a finger on the skin over the graft, they should feel a slight vibration. This sensation is called a 'thrill'.