Once you make a choice to have an AV fistula, how do you get ready? Read on:
Choose a qualified surgeon
Vascular surgeons specialize in working on the blood vessels. Look for a surgeon who has made many working AV fistulas. This surgeon is likely to give you your best options for access.
Ask for what you want
Read the information on this site. Tell your doctor what you've learned about dialysis access and ask about your options. Be clear if you prefer an AV fistula: your doctor will be beter able to help you get what you want when he or she knows your wishes.
Ask for vessel mapping
This painless ultrasound test lets the surgeon see your arteries and veins. Vessel mapping makes it easier to find out if your blood vessels might work for an AV fistula - and Medicare pays for it. Even if you've had a graft before, you may be able to have an AV fistula. Don't take "no" for an answer without knowing for sure with vessel mapping!