Peritoneal dialysis access-related procedures by nephrologists

Arif Asif
Seminars in Dialysis 2004, 17 (5): 398-406
Traditionally the placement of a peritoneal dialysis (PD) catheter in a patient with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) has been accomplished by a surgeon and using general anesthesia. This approach often introduces delays in starting PD, incurs additional costs in utilizing an operating room as well as anesthesia services, and introduces the mortality risk associated with general anesthesia. Recent data have emphasized that interventional nephrologists can safely and successfully perform PD access procedures. In this context, operating room facilities and staff and anesthesia services are not required and catheter insertion can be performed in a procedure room using local anesthesia, thereby reducing costs and completely bypassing the mortality risk associated with general anesthesia. When performed by a nephrologist, the catheter insertion can be accomplished swiftly and dialysis therapy initiated in a timely manner. Once begun, the success of PD hinges on reliable and long-term access to the peritoneal cavity. Prospective randomized and nonrandomized studies have shown that PD catheters peritoneoscopically placed by nephrologists have fewer complications (infection, exit site leak) and longer catheter survival rates than those inserted surgically. Although PD offers a variety of advantages, it remains an underutilized form of renal replacement therapy. To counteract PD underutilization, at least two separate centers have demonstrated a positive impact on the growth of the PD population when catheter insertion is performed by nephrologists. This article presents PD access-related procedures currently performed by interventional nephrologists. Furthermore, some of the complicating issues (bowel perforation, catheter migration, prior abdominal surgery) related to PD catheter insertion and management are also discussed.

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