My wife – stage 5 early but serious. Artery to kidney is severely blocked. She is not candidate for transplant or even stent. Dialysis recommended. How does clean blood get through the blockage? If not stentable, how does the diverted blood get out to the machine and back into an artery? Does it bypass kidney all together? Will arterial walls take regular and continuous use even though sclerosed nearly everywhere?

Dialysis is performed using a fistula that is created usually in an upper extremity.  A fistula is a surgical connection between an artery and a vein that enlarges and becomes large enough to place two needles.  Dialysis can also be done by placing a large catheter into the vein in your neck and blood is pumped into a dialysis machine for cleaning and then returned to the same catheter or fistula.  You can learn about dialysis on our web site at:  https://www.kidney.org/atoz/atozTopic_Dialysis

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