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Kidney Failure, Painful Fistula Arm, Pumping During Dialysis, Possible Problems of Fistula

2013-02-16 10:14


Patient: I am a patient of kidney failure and several days ago I had a 4th stent put in my fistula arm. I had been having narrowing, well today its been hurting a bit and there is no thrill. I can just feel it pumping. Usually it feels like its buzzing if take makes since. Should I be worried? And what are the possible problems with fistula.



Doctor: For kidney failure patients, if they want to do hemodialysis, a fistula (full name arteriovenous fistula-AVF) is needed and it plays a role of connecting an artery to a vein under the skin. For people with fistula, blood flow out their body and filtered by a machine outside the body. Purified blood finally flow back to patient’s body again and in this way, toxins in kidney failure patients’ body can be removed effectively.

Although a fistula is helpful for kidney failure patients, there are lots of problem can occur with a fistula:

1. Narrowing of the blood vessels in the fistula can occur so that it does not allow your blood to be cleaned well. A narrowed blood vessels can be seen clearly through xray test.

2. You may get infection easier with a fistula. In such a case, patients usually feel pain and also the skin over the fistula always becomes very rad. Generally speaking, when infection occurs, antibiotic treatment is necessary and helpful.

3. Aneurysm which can be described as weakening of the fistula wall. If the fistula is always needled in the same area, a large swelling in one particular area of the fistula. Tell your nurse and doctor if this condition occur.

4. Steal syndrome may occur when too much blood is diverted into the fistular which can cause a lack of blood supply to the lower arm or hand. Symptoms of Steal Syndrome include tingling, coldness, numbness and painful finger or hands.

5. Thrombosis: Thrombosis is the leading cause for a fistula stops working. Sometimes, a fistula can be unblocked, so you need to let your nurses and doctors know if the buzzing stops.

According to your description, I am afraid you need to go for your doctor or nurse to help you solve pain and pumping condition. Although, you can consult our consultant.

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