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A Seismic Shift in Access Creation

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Vascular Specialists now performing groundbreaking new procedure for those facing dialysis

For decades, patients facing hemodialysis have had few options for access creation. Fistulas and grafts require surgery and a recommended 6 months of maturation time. Catheter access is an infection-prone method rife with complications. 

Now, Dr. Tanquilut and Vascular Specialists are adopting the FDA-approved Ellipsys Vascular Access System, completely changing how fistulas are created and dramatically improving quality of life for patients. 

The Ellipsys System is non-surgical and minimally invasive, creating a fistula in a procedure that lasts, on average, about 17 minutes instead of hours. This permanent fistula can be utilized for dialysis within weeks instead of months. 

When a patient is told that dialysis is in their future due to kidney failure, make an appointment with Vascular Specialists. Using only a local anesthesia, your vascular surgeon will use high frequency ultrasound to map the veins and arteries in the forearm to identify serviceable blood vessels. 

Still using ultrasound guidance, your vascular surgeon will use a small needle to access the identified vein. It will then pierce through the vein wall and through the wall of the desired artery. The needle will be removed and a sheath put in its place. The Ellipsys catheter slides through the sheath, with the tip of the catheter placed in the artery. 

Using low power thermal energy, the catheter cuts an opening in each blood vessel and then fuses the tissue to create a permanent cross connection between the blood vessels, all without sutures or plastic tubes. 

The advantages of using this groundbreaking new Ellipsys procedure are numerous, including:

  • Lower cost
  • Faster access maturation
  • Minimally invasive endovascular procedure
  • Creates an arteriovenous (AV) fistula without implants or sutures
  • Creates a permanent intravascular seal between vein and artery
  • Vascular bed stays intact
  • Under 30 minutes procedure time
  • Local anesthesia 
  • Patient leaves with a band aid on the wound
  • No lumps, bumps or scars in patient arm
  • Increased patient satisfaction

The Journal of Vascular Surgery reported in October 2018 that the procedure saw a 94% success rate, with the fistulas either already being used or ready for use in just six weeks. They also noted that the ease and simplicity of the procedure could reduce the risk of thrombosis, blood clot formation, and reduce the likelihood of later revisions or interventions. 

The Ellipsys System is a “seismic shift” in how hemodialysis accesses are created and Vascular Specialists is leading the way with this procedure in Chicagoland. When dialysis is in the future, call our office at 815-824-4406 and make an appointment to discuss the Ellipsys procedure. 

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