Most people with failed kidneys undergo dialysis, an artificial blood-cleaning process. The management of dialysis is a challenge for many patients. There are important questions to ask your doctor to make sure you’re getting the most durable procedures that give you the best chance at long-term health. During this Patient Power program, listen to advice from a leading UW Medicine vascular surgeon regarding prevention, as well as what many patients do not know, but should, about preparing for dialysis.
Dr. Benjamin Starnes, Chief of Vascular Surgery and Associate Professor at the University of Washington Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center, explains that, due to various factors including diabetes, high blood pressure, polycystic kidney disease and hardened arteries, about one in six adult Americans will have failing kidneys. Hear about ateriovenous fistula, otherwise known as a graft or catheter that’s implanted centrally into a patient’s large blood vessels to allow for dialysis. Learn about how vascular surgeons choose where to place the fistulas, and what techniques give dialysis patients the best chance at success in creating a durable fistula the first time around. Dr. Starnes explains the two different types of dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
Many patients who face dialysis are elderly, and it can be difficult to coordinate all the necessary appointments. Dr. Starnes explains what they’re doing at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle to try and combat this problem. The real goal is to identify patients whose kidneys are failing but have not failed yet. Dr. Starnes briefly discusses other causes of renal failure, including ischemic nephropathy and what can be done in those cases to prevent patients from having to go on dialysis. Watch Dr. Starnes in our P2TV section, as he discusses the importance of patient empowerment.
As with most other illnesses, the key with kidney disease is to catch it early. Don’t miss this Patient Power program to learn why it’s important for you to go see your doctor and get a baseline for your kidney health.
Benjamin Starnes, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery, Harborview Medical CenterDr. Starnes is Chief of Vascular Surgery and Associate Professor at the University of Washington’s Harborview Medical Center. His clinical expertise includes endovascular surgery, ruptured aortic aneurysms, aortic dissections, and limb salvage. Dr. Starnes received his medical degree from Jefferson medical College in Philadelphia, and he is board certified in surgery and vascular surgery. more >