Though we say an AV fistula is the best available vascular access for hemodialysis today and strive to have a functioning fistula in all patients before they start hemodialysis, what we ultimately face is a patient who needs dialysis immediately but don’t have a fistula. In such circumstances we can’t help but to opt for a dialysis catheter. There are two options here a temperory catheter or a tunnelled permanent catheter.
Why a tunneled catheter?
Worldwide it is a common practice to prefer tunnelled catheters to temperory catheters. Tunnelled catheters have a lot of advantages over temperory catheters the important ones being good blood flow, low rate of infections, low chance of chest vein blockade and hand swelling, better cosmetic appeal to mention a few. Tunnelled dialysis catheter placements need adequate knowledge and training in placements as well as availability of certain infrastructure.
Tunnelled catheter placements Certain patients in whom an AV fistula or a graft can’t be created successfully may have to be on dialysis catheters for a long time. Tunnelled dialysis catheter is an excellent option for such patients as a properly placed and maintained tunnelled catheter can stay for a few years with much less risk of complications.