Minimally-Invasive Technology for Dialysis Patients

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Provided by Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center

Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center introduces a new procedure for dialysis patients which keeps them from undergoing open surgery.

Earlier this month, physicians at the Sentara Heart & Vascular Center performed the first minimally invasive procedure in Northern Virginia to create permanent access for a patient requiring dialysis. Using the new, innovative WavelinQ™ device and two pinhole incisions, our doctors were able to spare the patient open surgery. The patient left the same day with just a small bandage covering her arm.

“Studies have shown fistulas we create percutaneously require less secondary interventions so patients don’t have to return for as many follow up procedures,” explains Dr. James Cooper, Chief of Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology at Sentara Heart & Vascular Center. “In addition, these fistulas generally are ready to be used more quickly.”

WavelinQ™ allows for the creation of a fistula without the need for open surgery. Using just two catheters in the patient’s arm, Dr. Cooper was able to use the WavelinQ™ technology to connect an artery to a vein, using magnets to align and generate a spark to create the connection.

An estimated 468,000 Americans undergo dialysis for kidney failure every year. Traditionally, kidneys filter unwanted waste from the blood. In renal failure, dialysis does the job instead, returning the filtered blood to the body. Dialysis is often a time-consuming and uncomfortable procedure.

In order to prepare for dialysis, the patient must typically undergo surgery to have a dialysis fistula created. A fistula connects a vein to an artery in a patient’s arm to maximize blood flow for the dialysis treatments. The new WavelinQ™ procedure eliminates the need for the patient to undergo invasive surgery, allowing for better outcomes.

To learn more about the vascular services at Sentara Heart & Vascular Center, visit our website sentara.com/vascular or call 703-523-1980.

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