Dialysis takes over some of the kidneys’ work, removing waste products and extra water from the blood and keeping the body’s electrolytes in balance, when a person’s own kidneys no longer function. Each dialysis session takes about four hours and is needed three times a week. Blood is cycled out of an artery, cleaned using a special machine, and returned to a vein.
To establish safe, regular access to the patient’s blood stream, Arshad A. Khan, MD, director of interventional radiology at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, and his partners now provide dialysis support – and other interventional radiology procedures – at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center.
What is interventional radiology?
Not to be confused with radiation therapy, interventional radiology is more like minimally invasive surgery. It offers treatment options that can be performed as outpatient procedures without general anesthesia. “We use image guidance – CT, MR, ultrasound, and x-ray – to see inside the patient,” said Dr. Khan. “Many procedures that used to be done surgically can now be done with a needle stick.”
Vascular access specialists
Dr. Khan inserts thin, flexible tubes called catheters into veins in the patient’s neck, chest, or other veins to provide access for dialysis. “We use high-speed images to guide the catheter in, so we know it’s placed correctly and is working right away” without needing further adjustment, he said.
The group also specializes in catheter, graft, and fistula maintenance procedures, removing blockages and ensuring that the entire line is clear and working properly. “We are specialists in vascular access, and dialysis support is a continuation of that,” Dr. Khan said.
Close to home
Dr. Khan and his interventional radiology colleagues, who are all based at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, began seeing patients at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center in 2015. The hospital has upgraded its interventional radiology suites with the same high-end technology used at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Patients in Southern Maryland get the best of all worlds – decades of experience, top-level technology, and the convenience of having consultation, treatment, and follow-up nearby.
For more information about the interventional radiology program at MedStar Star Southern Maryland Hospital Center, please call 855-546-1018.