It may be a couple of years for this idea to come to fruition, but it may be possible for dialysis patients to eventually grow their own artificial veins, mitigating the need for regular fistula implants that need to be replaced every two years or so. Currently, fistulas are placed in the dialysis patient’s arm and is then used as the portal to remove and clean the patient’s blood through dialysis. Normal veins cannot handle the regular invasion and constant strain, so fistulas must be used. They are made of plastic and occlude regularly. Blockages are said to take place 50 percent of the time.1 These implants also present a high risk of infections.
The technology and development for new veins is intended to naturally link to a dialysis machine, and not require replacement. The plan is to install a hollow, artificial implant into a vein, that will then foster new vein growth, and the implant will eventually dissolve.
Considering one in three American adults risk getting kidney disease, and improvement on the treatment of the disease or of the dialysis process can be life changing.2
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