Vascular Access Center

The Vascular Access Center at South Nassau Communities Hospital

Easier Treatment Starts with Vascular Access

Candidates for Vascular Access: Vascular access procedures are ideal for patients with kidney disease or cancer. It provides a way for the bloodstream to be easily “accessed,” allowing for repetitive treatments.

Common Reasons for the use of Vascular Access:

  • You are undergoing hemodialysis (a procedure where blood is taken out of the body; waste and excess fluid are removed, and blood is returned to the body) because your kidneys are not functioning properly.
  • You are receiving chemotherapy or other cancer treatment.
  • You need antibiotics administered intravenously.
  • You cannot swallow safely but need medications, feeding, or nutritional support.
  • You require repeated blood draws.

Benefits of Vascular Access: Vascular access devices help patients achieve painless, repeated access to the blood stream which may be required for many years.

When to Get a Vascular Access Device: The vascular access device should be created at least six months to a year prior to the start of dialysis or just prior to starting chemotherapy treatments so that the site can be used repetitively.

What to Expect During the Initial Procedure:

  • The initial vascular access procedure should take about 30 minutes to an hour.
  • The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis.
  • Local anesthesia will be given – you will be awake during the procedure but will not feel any pain.
  • During the procedure, doctors use ultrasound and fluoroscopy, a type of X-ray with contrast dye, to locate and take pictures of a suitable blood vessel.
  • You may receive an arteriovenous fistula (an artificial connection created between an artery and a vein in the forearm) or an arteriovenous graft (a piece of tubing that is attached at one end of an artery and the other end to a vein that is implanted beneath the skin, usually in the arm). Dialysis may also be performed via an implanted catheter placed in a neck vein.

What to Expect After Receiving a Vascular Access Device:

  • Over time, a vascular access device enables a vein to become enlarged and its walls to thicken to allow large amounts of blood (about 10 ounces a minute) to flow continuously during treatment. Blood vessels can typically handle only an ounce of blood a minute.
  • The staff at the Vascular Access Center, including nurses, technologists, physicians and support staff, are available throughout the patient’s treatment course for help with any and all access problems. Our staff will go the “extra mile” to help patients through their treatment course.
  • Subsequent procedures may be required to maintain optimal functioning of the device.

About the Physician

The Vascular Access Center at South Nassau Communities Hospital was created so patients can receive the life-saving treatments and procedures they need, in a way that’s convenient and safe.

We provide patients with a full spectrum of vascular access procedures, including:

  • Arteriovenous Fistula: An artificial connection created between an artery and a vein in the forearm.
  • Arteriovenous Graft: A piece of sterile, plastic tubing that is attached to one end of an artery; the other end is attached to a vein. The graft is implanted beneath the skin, usually in the arm.
  • Catheter: An implanted catheter, ordinarily placed into the jugular vein that can be used for hemodialysis.

For more information, or to schedule a consultation with the Vascular Access Center, please call (516) 497-7539.

South Nassau Vascular Access Center
One Healthy Way
Oceanside, NY 11572

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South Nassau’s Dialysis Services