A recent National Diabetes Statistics Report revealed that over 20 million Americans have diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects how the body handles the glucose in the blood.

There are two common types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Unlike Type 1 diabetes, people with Type 2 do not have a problem producing insulin, but their body doesn’t use the cells the way that it should. This is what doctors call “insulin resistance”. In response to this, the pancreas compensates by producing more insulin in order to get the glucose into the cells. Because the cells do no respond to insulin, the sugar begins to build up in the blood. This can cause a person to urinate frequently, feel very thirsty or hungry, and tired.

Diabetes is a huge problem nationwide, but especially in the south. There are several factors that can predispose a person to develop Type 2 diabetes. These include: a family history of the disease, obesity, an unhealthy diet, a sedentary lifestyle, and age.

Diabetes and Kidney Disease

Not properly managing your diabetes can increase your risk of developing kidney disease. Diabetes can  damage the  small blood vessels in the body. When these blood vessels are damaged, the kidneys can’t filter the blood and it causes the body to retain more salt and water. Kidney damage can also cause buildup of waste materials in the blood and eventually lead to kidney failure if not treated.

Renal or kidney failure occurs when your kidneys are no longer to function and keep your body in a reasonably healthy state. Dialysis is an option for patients in  renal failure, performed to keep the body in balance. Dialysis removes wastes, salt, and excess water from the body and keeps levels of potassium, bicarbonate, and sodium within safe level.

Vascular Access for Dialysis

A patient scheduled for kidney or hemodialysis requires a vascular access to allow blood to be drawn or medication delivered to the blood stream. There are two types of vascular access: arterial venous fistula (AVF) and arterial venous graft (AVG). AVF is created by joining an artery to a vein. Very similar to AVF, AVG instead uses an implanted tube with a graft to connect the artery to the vein.

The vascular access is crucial to any patient undergoing dialysis. The vascular surgeons of Premier Surgical Vascular Access Center in Knoxville specialize in the latest minimally invasive access surgical techniques. The Center’ physicians and staff are 100% dedicated to serving patients with kidney disease through comprehensive on-site diagnostic expertise and management of your vascular access. A dedicated Access Coordinator Nurse works directly with patients, their Nephrologist and Dialysis Center to address any concerns.


The dedication of the Center’s physicians and staff results in our patients experiencing fewer infections, a more practical treatment course, increased comfort level, and reduced stress for patient families and caregivers. For more information about Premier Vascular Access and Imaging Center, call 865-306-5755 to speak with the Access Coordinator or visit the Premier Vascular Access Webpage.