Arteriovenous Fistula (AVF)
For hemodialysis patients, an easier, long-term access to the bloodstream is required. To accomplish this, Memphis Vascular Clinic physicians may create an arteriovenous fistula (AVF), which is a connection created surgically by joining a vein and an artery in the forearm that allows blood from the artery to flow into the vein, thus providing a larger blood vessel for dialysis access. Fistulas are considered the “gold standard” for maintaining access to a patient’s circulatory system, to provide life-sustaining dialysis.
Over time, fistulas can become clogged or develop clots. Our doctors can help you maintain your AV fistula to remain in good working order so that you can receive dialysis care uninterrupted.
Central Venous Access Catheters (CVAC)
People with certain diseases or medical conditions sometimes require that tubes be placed into the body so that they can receive medications or nutrients directly into the bloodstream or gastrointestinal system, or so blood can be drawn. Once, surgery was required to insert these tubes, but today these procedures can be done without surgery by an interventional radiologist.
A CVAC is a tube that is inserted beneath your skin so there is a simple, pain-free way for doctors or nurses to draw your blood or give you medication or nutrients. When you have a CVAC, you are spared the irritation and discomfort of repeated needlesticks. More than 3.4 million CVACs are placed each year, and doctors increasingly recommend their use. There are several types of CVACs, including tunneled catheters (Hickman or Broviac), peripherally inserted central catheters (also called PICC lines or long lines), dialysis catheters, and implantable ports.
Male infertility (varicocele)
A varicocele is a varicose vein of the testicle and scrotum that may cause pain, testicular atrophy (shrinkage) or fertility problems. Veins contain one-way valves that work to allow blood to flow from the testicles and scrotum back to the heart. When these valves fail, the blood pools and enlarges the veins around the testicle in the scrotum to cause a varicocele. Open surgical ligation, performed by a urologist, is the most common treatment for symptomatic varicoceles. However, varicocele embolization is an alternative, nonsurgical treatment performed by an interventional radiologist. It is highly effective, requires no general anesthesia and you can resume normal activities shortly after this outpatient procedure.