Av Fistula

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What is an AV fistula?

An arteriovenous (AV) fistula is an unusual connection between an artery and a vein. Usually, the blood flows from your arteries to your capillaries to your veins. This is how nutrients and oxygen in your blood travel from your capillaries to the tissues in your body.

With an AV fistula, blood flows directly from an artery into a vein, bypassing some capillaries. When this happens, tissues below the bypassed capillaries receive less blood supply.

Though arteriovenous fistulas usually occur in the legs, they can develop anywhere in the body too. Arteriovenous fistulas are often surgically treated for use in dialysis in people with kidney disease.

A large untreated arteriovenous fistula can lead to some serious complications.

Smaller arteriovenous fistulas in your legs, arms, lungs, kidneys or brain generally don't have any symptoms and usually don't need much treatment. However, large arteriovenous fistulas may cause symptoms such as:

  • Purplish, bulging veins
  • Swelling in the arms or legs
  • Low BP
  • Fatigue
  • Heart failure

An arteriovenous fistula in your lungs (pulmonary arteriovenous fistula) is considered to be a more serious condition and may cause:

  • A bluish tinge to the skin
  • Clubbing of fingers
  • Coughing up blood

To diagnose an arteriovenous fistula in your limbs, your doctor will use a stethoscope to listen to the blood flow through the area where you may have a fistula. The blood flow through an arteriovenous fistula basically makes a sound similar to clicking or humming machinery.

It is quite possible your doctor may suggest only monitoring your arteriovenous fistula, especially if it is small and doesn't cause any troublesome health problems. Some small arteriovenous fistulas close by themselves without any treatment.

In case, your arteriovenous fistula requires treatment, your doctor may recommend:

  • Ultrasound-guided compression
  • Catheter embolization
  • Surgery

Top Doctors for Av Fistula

DR NAGABHUSHAN K N

general surgeon

MBBS DNB(SURGERY) FVES

18 Yrs of Experience

Fri

Ramakrishna Hospitals, Jayanagar
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