Patients with advanced kidney failure usually require dialysis. Hemodialysis is one form of dialysis in which blood is circulated through a special cleansing machine and returned to the body.
Patients in need of hemodialysis access may be sent by their kidney doctor to the Interventional Radiology Division for placement of a plastic tube, or hemodialysis catheter, into a large vein at the base of the neck, which is connected to a hemodialysis machine. A specialty-trained interventional radiologist will use advanced equipment to place the catheter. Once in place, this catheter is securely fixed to the skin and can remain in place for weeks to months. This catheter will need special care, which is explained to the patient at the time of catheter placement.