Dialysis vascular access is a minor surgery that allows for access to blood for hemodialysis. A soft tube connects the access to the dialysis machine, where blood is filtered through a dialyzer, an artificial kidney.
There are three types of dialysis vascular access: a fistula, graft, and catheter. An artery and vein in the arm are connected to access the blood via a fistula. A graft connects an artery and vein in the arm with a piece of soft tube. A catheter is a way to attain vascular access through a soft tube placed in a large vein in the neck.