Clotted Dialysis Access | Catheter Care | MedStar Health

Improving blood flow through artificial vessels used during dialysis

If a fistula or graft access to your blood vessels during dialysis becomes narrow or clogged, it can prevent you from receiving this life-saving treatment.

The surgeons in our Vascular and Endovascular Program work with kidney specialists to keep your dialysis access working effectively.


A minimally invasive catheter procedure will likely be used to reach the access vessel. To improve blood flow, your doctor may recommend:

  • Angioplasty: A catheter is guided to the access vessel, and a small balloon is used to widen a narrow vessel.

  • Thrombolysis: Medication is used to dissolve blood clots blocking blood flow.

  • Stenting: Your doctor may recommend that a stent be placed after the access vessel is cleared to prevent future blockages.



A fluoroscopy is an imaging technique that uses a continuous X-ray beam passed through the body to create real-time, moving images of your internal structures.

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MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital

5601 Loch Raven Blvd.
Baltimore, MD 21239