Year : 2022  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 281-286

Lower limb dialysis grafts: Are they really that bad?

Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
R Sekhar
Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijves.ijves_41_22

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The exponential rise in diabetes in India has led to a steady rise in end-stage renal disease patients requiring renal replacement therapy (RRT). Affordability and access to centers providing RRT and maintenance of functioning upper extremity vascular access for prolonged periods remain a challenge. Frequently facing no upper extremity access situations, we decided to reassess the feasibility of lower extremity vascular access. A retrospective study was carried out evaluating data from January 2009 to March 2022 including patients with a graft tunneled in the thigh (lower superficial femoral artery end to side to terminal great saphenous vein end to end). Totally 26 cases were studied with respect to age, sex, body mass index, comorbidities, difficulty in cannulation, complications, graft dysfunction, and patency rates. Follow-up was a dynamic ongoing process without a fixed endpoint. Graft dysfunction was seen in seven of 26 patients (26.92%), with a primary patency rate of 88.46% (23/26) at 1 year. Twelve subjects died during the study period, however, all had a functioning lower limb arteriovenous graft (AVG). Lack of surgical training, fear of complications, and absence of team approach in decision-making are some reasons why lower extremity permanent dialysis access is infrequently used. However, in view of increased survival on dialysis, advancing age of the dialysis population, associated comorbidities, and multiple access failures, lower limb AVGs may be considered a feasible access modality with acceptable patency rates and minimal complications.

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