Getting Ready For a Fistula, am nervous, an... - Kidney Disease

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Getting Ready For a Fistula, am nervous, any advice?

jdapja profile image

I had a ultrasound of both arms and passed for a fistula but was told by the surgeon it could take up to 3 hours on anesthesia. I thought it was just numbing the area; how wrong was I! According to the surgeon, if one area isn't good he goes to another part of the arm until he finds a good vein and artery to attach. Any pointers on getting through this operation from anyone who has had a fistula placed! I am sort of freaking out right now on best way to prepare before, during, and after.

I will be going to a facility for dialysis 3 or 4 days a week and heard that as time goes on it is better for the patient to put the needle in their own arm instead of the people at the facility doing it. And to be putting the needle in the same hold each time so it will look like the hold in a lady's ear where she puts her earrings. This supposedly will be less pain for the person. Again, any info anyone has out there to put my mind at rest or more explanation on any of the above would be welcomed.

This site is a blessing because people like me can let out their frustrations and hopefully in the process, get info that will help them in the long run. God bless you all and for me, prayer is one of my closest allies. Signed jdapja

13 Replies

Hi, I haven't had one placed yet and from what I've read your doctor seems to want it done at a much earlier time than many others. However, I'm sure that your doctor has made that decision for a reason and as long as you know what that is and are comfortable with it then let me offer you this site to answer any questions you have about preparing for a fistula. There is also a link to connect to that explains the Buttonhole Technique. Good luck.

jdapja profile image
jdapja in reply to

Thank you so very much for the site. I skimmed it and it seems to have everything I need on questions regarding the fistula and other things. Thank you.

Bet117 profile image
Bet117NKF Ambassador

Agreed! Sit tight and be positive!

We are all pulling for you and will be here for you when it is set and done!👃👍

jdapja profile image
jdapja in reply to Bet117

Thank you for your thoughts. I am trying my best to be positive and I will write when it is completed. Please keep me in your prayers!!

Bet117 profile image
Bet117NKF Ambassador in reply to jdapja

Always! Keep in mind that this is one more bump in the road.

Stay strong! Sending you healing thoughts and courage!

Bet 🙏🌹

jdapja profile image
jdapja in reply to Bet117

Thank you for your thoughts.

the same thoughts as you. getting mine soon also. I fear the dialysis even more. what type of dialysis you going to do? I will be going in center. Let me know the outcome. Good luck.

jdapja profile image
jdapja in reply to rascal01

It seems we are in the same boat. I try not to let things bother me but my body isn't built that way. The littlest health problem makes me a nervous wreck. I took a Transcendental Meditation course (TM) and it is helping to cope with my problems but it takes time and practice and it is kind of expensive. I was also hypnotized yesterday which someone thought would help me cope with the health problems and I thought it wouldn't really do anything but I went anyway for a session. I came out feeling so relaxed and thinking in a positive way and am trying to keep that thought and so far it's working. I just thought these two things might be helpful for you since you are afraid of the dialysis (as I am as well).

I will be doing the in center dialysis. They are the professionals and if anything goes wrong they are right there to take care of the situation. Getting this fistula is more upsetting for me than starting the dialysis....don't ask me why. I guess because it is considered an operation and I I have had a few and some of them has major consequences so I am leary for that reason but with this positive attitude I have now, I'm sure things will turn out ok. Keep your chin up and let me know also when you start dialysis. Good Luck

keep in touch!

hi thank you for your post i am also waiting for my fistula and feeling nervous also.

Hi, I just had a fistula put in 2 weeks ago, and surgery was just over 2 hours. It was put in my forearm, but the vein wasn’t viable in the first site so the dr went a few inches up my arm. It hurt for about 2 days, but I’ve had no other issues.

Hope this helps you.

In the UK , surgeons make one fistula at a time, if this fails another op' is required after scanning.......when initial wound has healed .

My husband was anesthetized when his fistula was placed about 6 years ago, and his surgery also took about 3 hours. I'm a note-taker and so, I'm copying in my notes from the day he had his fistula surgery. It was not bad at all. See my notes below...hope it helps you.Arrived at 8:30 for xxxx’s AV fistula surgery. Lots of prep time and waiting time in the pre-surgery area. They took him back about 10:15. The fistula was placed just slightly above the crook of the elbow. That will not impact movement while healing; xxxx can still use the arm, but don’t lift and nothing tight or constrictive. NO BP’s or IV’s on that arm now. Can use ice and Tylenol for discomfort, but sent home with Oxycodone RX.

Dr. zzzz came and talked with me about 1:00 – said xxxx’s vessels were good and all went well. xxxx’s pulse on the left wrist is a little weak because for now there is less vasculature feeding into it below the fistula. We can feel the “buzzing” at the site, and will need to check it periodically. His hand may have slightly less circulation and/or feel tingly or numb from time to time…probably for a while.

Took xxxx home about 2:00, made him some lunch and a pot of tea, then headed out for the Rx and a hand-squeeze ball at the drug store. All went well for the evening and night – used a warm beanbag on his hand a few times.

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