Hemodialysis access began in the mid-1900s when surgeons began introducing techniques for arteriovenous (AV) fistula creation which initially began with placing a silastic prosthesis between a vein and artery. In the mid-1960s, the first, successful AV fistula creations for hemodialysis were performed.
A few years later, AV grafts were popularized with the introduction of biologic grafts and new synthetic grafts. However, AV fistulas remain the gold standard for hemodialysis access with the most common site being the wrist (connection between the radial artery and cephalic vein).
For many years, ultrasound has been used to preoperatively evaluate patients’ blood flow and vessel size prior to surgery. Now, we have the ability to dynamically evaluate blood flow both during the operation and postoperatively.
Using the EchoSure ultrasound device, both physicians and dialysis nurses can easily identify, monitor, and even quantify blood flow through the fistula. With the help of this novel implantable device, dialysis nurses will have the ability to better visualize sites for cannulation (sticking the fistula) which should help to decrease cannulation site complications (clotting, narrowing, etc).