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Dr Frederick Ogbac, an active member of the medical staff and the first Interventional Nephrologist in the Philippines, successfully performed a percutaneous transluminal angioplasty on a stenosed arteriovenous fistula of a patient last May 4, 2016

Hemodialysis is a process of removing wastes and excess water from the blood a person whose kidneys are not working normally. The dialysis machine is connected to the patient through a hemodialysis access like dialysis catheters, arteriovenous grafts (AVGs), and arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs). It is therefore important for a hemodialysis patient to always have a functioning hemodialysis access.

Stenosis of arteriovenous fistula is an abnormal narrowing of the blood vessel where the hemodialysis machine connects to the patient. This narrowing disturbs the normal flow of blood from the patient to the dialysis machine and back to the patient resulting to inadequate hemodialysis.

Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) is a procedure to “open-up” the narrowed blood vessel. A small balloon catheter is inserted into the blood vessel through a small puncture on the skin. The balloon is then inflated in the area of narrowing, thus, opening up the blood vessel.

There are numerous advantages of doing PTA on AVGs andAVFs. First, stenosed AVGs and AVFs can be salvage and use again for dialysis. It delays the need to create a new hemodialysis access. It preserves the other blood vessels, which may be used as future hemodialysis access. And, the results of the procedure are immediate, enabling the patient to use the salvaged hemodialysis right after the PTA.

Other services available are thrombectomy of thrombosed AVF and AVG, hemodialyis catheter insertion, peritoneal dialysis insertion, and kidney biopsy.

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