When a person has end-stage renal disease and is surviving through hemodialysis, the continued insertion of a dialysis needle into a vein can cause scarring and even destruction of the vein.
To avoid that issue, we create what is known as an arteriovenous fistula (AVF), where an artery is connected directly to a nearby vein. This increases blood pressure and the amount of blood flow through the vein. This makes it easier to insert a needle and the increased blood flow is necessary for adequate hemodialysis treatment.
At Minimally Invasive Vascular Center, we’re excited to add the latest technology for our end-stage renal disease patients who need these arteriovenous fistulas. It is known as the BD WavelinQ™ 4F endoAVF system, and it will increase our AVF location options and provide more flexibility in treating these patients.
What is the WavelinQ™ 4F endoAVF system?
The WavelinQ™ 4F endoAVF system is made by Becton, Dickinson and Company, one of the largest global technology companies in the healthcare industry. The WavelinQ system allows our clinicians to have a minimally invasive option for creating arteriovenous fistulas in our patients with end-stage kidney disease.
Benefits of the WavelinQ™ 4F
For end-stage renal disease patients who are surviving thanks to hemodialysis, the creation of an arteriovenous fistula is a necessity to ensure continued ability to place the dialysis needle. In the past, creating an AVF has only been possible through open surgery. In patients already weakened by renal disease, open surgery simply adds another level of stress on the body and risk.
The WavelinQ™ system now enables us to create the AVF through minimally invasive methods. Here are the benefits of the WavelinQ™ 4F:
- Minimally invasive creation of AVFs
- Provides an alternative to open surgery
- Enables additional venous access points (ulnar vein and radial vein)
- Increases procedural flexibility for our physicians
- Reduces risk of scarring or arm disfigurement for patients
- Increases the likelihood patients will get a usable AV fistula
How does the WavelinQ™ 4F make an arteriovenous fistula?
The WavelinQ uses two catheters inserted into either the ulnar or radial artery and corresponding vein in the wrist area or the upper arm. These catheters have attracting magnets that pull toward each other. The catheters also have rotational indicators so they can be accurately positioned.
When the two catheters are advanced into the ulnar or radial vein and artery and are positioned near one another the magnets pull the artery and the vein together. One of the catheters is also equipped with an electrode that delivers radiofrequency energy toward the other catheter. This cuts through the one blood vessel and into the other. The RF energy can then close the two vessels together by coagulating tissue. Now the arteriovenous fistula is created. The two catheters are withdrawn and the procedure is complete. This new AVF in the ulnar or radial vein/artery now can better handle the dialysis needle insertion and blood pressure and flow is increased.
Candidates for the WavelinQ™ 4F procedure
Anyone with end-stage renal disease is a good candidate for the creation of an AVF with the WavelinQ™ system at Minimally Invasive Vascular Center. Currently in the U.S. there are more than 440,000 patients with end-stage renal disease who only survive thanks to hemodialysis. By creating a usable AVF through additional access points, this gives our clinicians greater flexibility while ensuring better continued AV access for our patients on hemodialysis.
What happens after the WavelinQ™ procedure creates an AVF?
These procedures are outpatient procedures and are easily tolerated. Any soreness can be handled with over-the-counter pain medication. The new fistula in the ulnar or radial artery and vein won’t be immediately available. It takes a few weeks for the fistula to mature to the point where is can be used for hemodialysis treatments.
Schedule A Consultation
If you are interested in the WavelinQ™ 4F, contact Minimally Invasive Vascular Center at (855) 803-MIVC (6482) to schedule a consultation! Our practice serves Laurel, Baltimore, and surrounding areas in Maryland.