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Innovative Access Device Provides Hope for Select Hemodialysis Patients
Date:11/4/2011

CLEVELAND, Nov. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- University Hospitals Case Medical Center physicians are utilizing a novel approach to solve a long standing problem for chronic kidney disease patients on hemodialysis.

In hemodialysis patients, central venous obstructive disease or vein damage severely impacts effective treatments.

UH Case Medical Center's Virginia Wong, MD, who is with the Division of Vascular Surgery, and Assistant Professor of Surgery, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, was among the first in the country to surgically implant a HeRO graft device to alleviate the obstruction by gaining access through an arm arteriovenous (AV) fistula or AV graft.

For individuals with this particular problem, conventional hemodialysis access is no longer feasible and options are extremely limited. Fortunately, the novel access method is available for select patients.

"The HeRO graft procedure is a true breakthrough since it bypasses the central venous occlusion, giving these patients an option they didn't have before," says Dr. Wong. "The device is made of a tube and a graft that are implanted under a patient's skin to allow arterial access."

There are three standard options for hemodialysis vascular access today: arteriovenous fistula ("AVF" or "fistula"), arteriovenous graft ("AVG" or "graft") and central venous catheter ("CVC" or "catheter"). An AV fistula is formed by surgically connecting an artery to a vein. This causes more blood to flow into the vein and with time, it grows larger and stronger, facilitating access. The alternative, an AV graft, is a synthetic tube (graft) surgically implanted under the skin that connects an artery to a vein, creating an artificial vein. Risks include bleeding, infection, scarring, and graft or fistula malfunction or failure. Central venous obstruction interferes with or prevents blood return, which can lead to premature access failure or inability to use an arm for future
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SOURCE University Hospitals Case Medical Center
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