Arteriovenous fistula ultrasound is an ultrasound of the arm or leg where you have a fistula for dialysis.
Through a hand-held transducer and gel applied directly on your skin, ultrasound uses non-radiation sound wave technology to create an echo image of the organs and vessels in your body.
The purpose of the scan is to check the arteries and veins around the fistula site to check function and ensure patency.
Arteriovenous fistula ultrasound does not require any special preparation.
You may wish to wear a loose and comfortable two-piece outfit. The fistula and surrounding area will need to be exposed for the procedure.
It is best to organise an arteriovenous fistula ultrasound on a day you are not having dialysis.
You will be asked to lie on your back with your fistula limb bent at a 45-degree angle away from your body.
The ultrasound transducer will be placed along your skin and follow the line of your vascular system before and after the fistula site.
Arteriovenous fistula ultrasound uses colour imaging to understand the blood flow patterns and determine if there are any impeding areas.
Arteriovenous fistula ultrasound usually takes about an hour.
Arteriovenous fistula ultrasound is a non-invasive procedure so you can return immediately to your usual everyday activities.
Your arteriovenous fistula ultrasound results will be reviewed and the report will be sent to your referring doctor. It is best to make an appointment with them to follow up on the results.
A fistula is created surgically by a surgeon. It connects the artery to the vein.
A fistula is a prominent direct connection between a vein and an artery, usually bypassing the capillary system.
AV fistulas can last for years, or they can fail in a few months. It depends on various factors, including the anatomy of your fistula, your underlying condition, and your level of activity.
Over time, your veins will thicken, and your fistula will become less visible. This can make it hard to tell if your fistula is failing. For this reason, your cardiologist may recommend an ultrasound every six months or so.