Stuart Mott is the Dialysis Fistula Whisperer - NO JOKE

My husband’s dialysis access was in real trouble. We had to do a femoral tunneled catheter in his thigh to give the fistula a rest because he has a pacemaker and a powerport on either side of his chest. Those things are not safe to keep in for a long time even though we work really hard to keep it clean and dry. I was having real difficulty and a good deal of trepidation about cannulating him again even though we have done home hemodialysis and I have been cannulating his arm for over 9 years. After a fistula gram, something changed and things just weren’t working. Stuart Mott help me more than I could have ever imagined. He talked me through every step of the process. My husband and I simply can’t thank him enough. I have my confidence back and am now armed with a variety of techniques that will enable me to take excellent care of my husband and his dialysis access. We even got some of them on film to share with you all. Stay tuned. I have dubbed Stuart the Dialysis Fistula Whisperer (DFW)! He is our hero! Honestly we could not have succeeded without his support.

Before - what a mess, frightening and caused hospitalization for a femoral tunneled catheter.

After - A successful cannulation with blunt JMS Harmony 15 g x 1" needles using Stuart Mott’s Cushion Cannulation and Touch Cannulation techniques. Oh, and we do nocturnal treatment so I use a lot of tape.

I heartily agree that Stuart Mott is the Dialysis Fistula Whisperer! I was having so many problems cannulating one day that I gave up for the day and went onto Facebook to ask for help. I feared that I would be back in the clinic learning to use sharps or establishing new buttonholes and during this national crisis with Covid 19, I wanted no part of that.

Stuart asked me a few questions and advised doing touch cannulation as well as using the teardrop method. The teardrop method was new to me and turned out to be quite helpful. His video for that method is on this site and I advise readers to watch it and determine if it will help them. It continues to help me cannulate each time without big issues.

He also has posted video for the touch cannulation which is something I was actually trained to use. That video will be very helpful for anyone who is learning HHD.

He also hooked me up with the company representative for JMS Harmony blunts. These needles are just a bit sharper than the Nipro ones I was using. In addition they are shorter. The shorter length worried me but I figured I’d try them out and see how it went. Well, it went very well. I had a much better needling experience.

I am waiting for a supply of these needles to arrive and had to go back to the longer Nipro needles while waiting. Part of my problem is that I have low blood pressure which means my fistula has lower pressure and the longer blunter needles flatten the fistula while attempting to penetrate the vessel. I can actually feel the needle pushing against a barrier of sorts while trying to get into the vessel. The shorter JMS needles penetrate more easily and even though I feel that barrier, it’s not as difficult to break through to the vessel.

Here’s what is working for me to cannulate each time with less issues:

Touch cannulation

Teardrop cannulation

Sharper, shorter blunts (JMS Harmony)

What works for me may well help others in this situation. I’m grateful that Stuart reached out to me by email and by phone. He encouraged me to share his contact information so others can contact him for help. He’s a huge help and truly is the “Dialysis Fistula Whisperer!”

Stuart Mott


Private Facebook support group: Home Dialysis Central Discussion Group