Duplex Ultrasound for Kidney Dialysis at Mercy

The Vascular Center at Mercy - Baltimore, MD

The Vascular Center at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, offers comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of circulatory system conditions. The Center’s nationally accredited Vascular Laboratory allows our vascular specialists to provide a variety of tests including duplex ultrasound for kidney dialysis patients.    

What is a Duplex Ultrasound for kidney dialysis patients?

Before kidney dialysis can begin, doctors need access to a patient’s bloodstream to allow blood to travel to and from the dialysis machine. This is called vascular access. Vascular access for dialysis treatment can be placed in the arms, legs, neck or chest. The access requires surgery and can be a fistula (a permanent access placed under the skin directly connecting to an artery and a vein) or a graft (a vascular access that is created with man-made tubing that connects the artery and vein).  

Fistulas and grafts need to be monitored for complications, so a duplex ultrasound is often prescribed for screening. A duplex ultrasound is a non-invasive imaging test.

NEXT: How is a Duplex Ultrasound performed? ›
How is a Duplex Ultrasound performed?

A duplex ultrasound for screening dialysis fistulas or grafts is performed by a technologist who has been specially trained. A gel substance is placed on the skin of the area being evaluated and a small probe is rubbed over the area to obtain the images. Different angles of the area may be examined, so patients may have to lie in different positions to get an image. The images are always reviewed by a vascular surgeon. No preparation is required for this test.

NEXT: Who should receive a Duplex Ultrasound? ›
Who should receive a Duplex Ultrasound?

Dialysis patients receive ultrasound testing to ensure the health of the fistula or graft that allows dialysis to occur.

Meet Our Doctors: Vascular Center
The Vascular Center at Mercy - Baltimore, MD
Alain Tanbe, M.D.

Dr. Alain Tanbe is a fellowship-trained vascular surgeon who treats disorders of the arteries and veins and offers comprehensive care for a broad range of vascular diseases.

See all Vascular Specialists ›
Patient Story:
Cheryl - Mercy Patient

Cheryl wears compression socks while working to help with venous insufficiency, a buildup of pressure in her legs.

See All Stories Like This ›