Dialysis Specialist

Vascular Access Centers

Vascular Medicine located in Cranberry Township, PA

About 14% of the US population have chronic kidney disease, and receiving dialysis access care is crucial if you have end-stage kidney failure. At Vascular Access Center of Pittsburgh, located in Cranberry Township, we maintain, preserve, and restore vascular access so you can receive dialysis and live a healthier, happier life. Call to learn more, or book an appointment online today.

Dialysis Q & A

What are dialysis access procedures?

Vascular Access Center of Pittsburgh utilizes several different procedure options to provide you with the best dialysis access service.


If you’re experiencing difficulty with your access during your dialysis session, a fistulagram may be recommended to assess function. The study looks at key indicators, including high venous pressure, low flow rate, or prolonged bleeding, to assess function.

Peripheral arterial angioplasty

If a study shows a narrowed area, referred to as stenosis, in the outflow vein or inflow artery, you may need a peripheral arterial angioplasty, or the placement of a balloon to widen the area.

Peripheral arterial stenting

If your narrowed area doesn’t respond well to the balloon placement, you may need placement of a stent, which is a metal device, to use with the balloon to keep the access open.

Fistula maturation procedures

If your fistula doesn’t mature properly, the interventionists use an X-ray dye to “see” if they can find a reason why maturation did not occur and then take steps to fix it with minimally invasive techniques to reroute or redirect the flow of blood. Fistula maturation is the healing period before your access is ready for use.

What is thrombolysis and thrombectomy?

Thrombolysis and thrombectomy are treatments for a blocked dialysis access. The thrombolysis “de-clots” your access, while the thrombectomy removes the clot.

What are the different types of catheters?

The skilled team at Vascular Access Center of Pittsburgh can place any type of catheter for dialysis use. Common catheters include:

  • PICC line
  • Tesio catheters
  • Hickman catheters


You may need a central line catheter, a catheter placed in the main artery in your neck or groin, during fistula maturation or if you’re experiencing a blockage or other issue with your dialysis access.

The vascular experts also place central lines for non-dialysis use, including medication, nutritional support, or chemotherapy.

What is a tunneled catheter?

A tunneled catheter is a type of catheter used during fistula maturation. It’s placed across your collarbone and used for dialysis treatment. It’s also used as an access port for total parenteral nutrition (TPN), peripheral parenteral nutrition (PPN), or chemotherapy.

What is vessel mapping?

Vessel mapping involves injecting IV contrast through a small IV in your hand to visualize your veins, which is used to determine the placement of your fistula.

For all your dialysis access needs, call or schedule an appointment online at Vascular Access Center of Pittsburgh.

For more information, please visit our main site.