Even with the best plans, there may be detours in the road toward a healthy, working AV fistula. The more you know ahead of time, the better prepared you can be.
Post-op care and recovery
It can take 1-3 months for a new AV fistula to heal and "mature" so it can be used for dialysis. You'll have some limits on driving and lifting while it heals.
Checking your new AV fistula
You'll need to learn how to look at your AV fistula, feel it, and listen to it each day to be sure it's healing well and has a good blood flow. Most AV fistula problems can be fixed - if you tell your doctor right away.
Listen to your AV Fistula
From: Tushar Vachharajani, MD, FACP, FASN, Associate Professor Internal Medicine/Nephrology, Director, Dialysis Access Group of WFU, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
AV Fistula Problems
The most common AV fistula problems are blood clots and stenosis (narrowing of the blood vessel). Be alert for signs of these and other problems so they can be fixed.
Your body image
You may worry about how your AV fistula will look, and what others will think when they see it. These concerns are not silly or childish. Learning more may help you put things in perspective.
Your access plan
Even with the best care, an AV fistula can fail. Have a plan in place so you know what you'll do if that happens. Your surgeon can help you with a plan.