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Insertion temporary dialysis catheters

What is temporary dialysis catheter insertion?

A temporary dialysis catheter is inserted into the artery to exchange blood using a hemodialysis machine. The catheter for dialysis has two lumens – a venous and arterial lumen. These lumens act like natural arteries and carry blood to and from the heart allowing cleaned blood into the bloodstream.

How is a temporary dialysis catheter inserted?

Once the catheter site is cleaned and numbed, the vein is located using an ultrasound. The vein is then accessed with a needle, and a guidewire is threaded into the vein. The opening is then enlarges for the catheter to be inserted and the guidewire is removed. Lastly, an x-ray is taken of the chest to ensure the catheter is in place. Thereafter dialysis can begin.

Why would temporary dialysis catheter be inserted?

A temporary dialysis catheter is usually inserted for people who have acute kidney failure or kidney disease. For those who need long-term dialysis, a permanent catheter [insert hyperlink to page] may be inserted instead.

How long will I be in hospital?

Temporary catheters are inserted without anaesthesia and require no hospital stay while permanent catheters require hospital stay. 

What will happen after surgery?

Fluid may have been used during surgery, and a drain may be used to remove excess fluid after surgery. Following a permanent catheter insertion you may experience the following:

  • Pain near the catheter site.
  • Bruising near the catheter site.
  • Bleeding and oozing near the catheter.

All these symptoms are normal and are nothing to be concerned about. Re-consult if you have an unusually high temperature, chills, swelling of the site, a lot of blood leaking from the site as emergency care may be needed.

How soon after the surgery can I resume normal activities?

You will be able to resume normal activities soon after the catheter is inserted and dialysis is complete.

What are the potential risks and complications a temporary dialysis catheter insertion?

The risk of complications during laparoscopic surgery is very low; however, there are risks involved in any surgery, and the following complications can occur:

  • Infection of the wound or internal infection.
  • Irregular heartbeat.
  • Damage of the arteries and nearby veins.
  • Lung collapse if the needle punctures the lung.
  • Air into the bloodstream and cause an air embolism.
  • A fragment of the catheter may break off and travel through the bloodstream.
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