Dialysis is the next step

My husband has been told that within the next few weeks he will need to start dialysis. I am concerned that all the doctor talks about is putting a catheter into his neck and then putting the one in his arm later. He wants to wait 2 weeks before doing anything so that diuretics have a chance to reduce fluid retention. I said if you are waiting two weeks to reassess then we do not believe there is any imminent danger and my husband and I agree one operation is better than two. What’s the point in two surgeries then.

I asked the Dr. why we can’t just wait then and have the one surgery for the arm access site. The Dr. said because it takes time for the site to get ready.

:?: Can anyone tell me how long it takes the arm fistula or graft to cure?

Thank you and God bless you and keep you.

If your husband is supposed to have a fistula in his arm (the best type of access), it can take 3 months to heal properly and “mature” to the point where it can be used for hemodialysis. If your husband starts with peritoneal dialysis (PD), a form of home dialysis, instead of hemo, he can have a PD catheter placed instead of a hemo catheter in his chest. He can do PD for many years if wants to, giving his fistula lots of time to mature in case he needs it for hemo later.

Since this is Home Dialysis Central, I hope that you and your husband have thoroughly researched his dialysis options. There are many types of treatment other than in-center hemo that can give you both a better quality of life and more flexibility. You can read about the types of home dialysis at http://www.homedialysis.org/v1/types/, and read our “Topic of the Month” articles at: http://www.homedialysis.org/v1/news/#tom

To learn more about how to live with kidney failure, please visit our sister site, Kidney School at http://www.kidneyschool.org. The module on Vascular Access might be useful for you right now.