Chronic kidney disease is a condition where the kidney gradually loses functionality over time. Dialysis is a common treatment for kidney disease.

Vascular access is an important passageway to the bloodstream created by a minor surgery to be used for dialysis treatment. High quality access will allow the full benefit of dialysis to help the patient feel as well as possible.


Dialysis is a medical treatment that takes over the job of cleaning your blood and balancing fluid and electrolytes when your kidneys are no longer able to do so. It does this by using a filter and a cleaning solution called dialysate. There are two types:


Hemodialysis uses a machine and a special filter called dialyzer to clean your blood. It is a plastic tube filled with millions of tiny hollow fibers that acts as an artificial kidney. During treatment, your blood travels from your body through a tube into the dialyzer, which removes the bad and replaces the good using the cleaning solution. The process requires direct access to your bloodstream through the use of two needles. It typically takes about four hours, and has to be done 2-3 times per week.

Peritoneal Dialysis

Peritoneal dialysis uses a catheter that is surgically placed in your abdomen to put the cleaning solution into your stomach, and the lining of your abdomen acts as a natural filter. The fluid remains in the abdomen for a period of time, known as the dwell time. The now dirty solution is then drained from the stomach and discarded, and a new clean solution is put back in. This is called exchange. This form of dialysis is performed at home, and this treatment options offers flexibility and control.

Premier’s Vascular Access & Imaging Center

At the Premier Surgical Vascular Access Center in Knoxville, we collaborate with you, your family, and your nephrologist (kidney doctor) to provide more education, and answer questions about how to best maintain your access.