Background: Hemodialysis access by autogenous arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) is generally recommended due to lower mortality, morbidity, and cost vs graft and catheter use. Many dialysis patients lack the common superficial veins used for standard AVF options and require transposition of a deep vein for autogenous dialysis access through a long open incision (open/AVF-T). These operations may require prolonged time for healing, thus extending catheter-based dialysis. We report our experience with minimally invasive techniques for creating AVF-Ts using an endoscopic procedure (endo/AVF-T). Methods: We reviewed our vascular access database of consecutive access operations to identify consecutive patients with endo/AVF-Ts. For comparison, we also reviewed the immediate preceding traditional open/AVF-T operations that we previously reported. We evaluated demographics, time to access use, and primary, assisted, and cumulative patency. Results: We identified 100 consecutive endo/AVF-T operations attempted, and 98 were technically successful. The analysis excluded two conversions to successful open/AVF-T. The mean age of the 98 patients in the endo/AVF-T study group was 60 years (range, 22-94 years), 59 (60.2%) were women, 48 (49.0%) were diabetic, 20 (20.4%) were obese, and 52 (53.1%) had had previous access surgery. Mean time to initial use of the access for endo/AVF-Ts was 6 weeks for primary and 12 weeks for staged transpositions. Mean follow-up was 14 months (range, 1-30 months). The 12- and 24-month cumulative patencies were 95.5% and 88.6%. The 78 traditional open/AVF-T operations from our previous report were reviewed for comparison. The mean age was 62 years (range, 18-83 years), 57 (73.1%) were women, 44 (56.4%) were diabetic, 15 (19.2%) were obese, and 46 (59.0%) had previous access surgery. Mean time to initial use of the access for open/AVF-Ts was 8 weeks for primary and 16 weeks for staged operations. Mean follow-up was 18 months (range, 3-48 months). The 12- and 24-month cumulative patencies were 96.0 and 88.9%. No grafts were used in any patient during the study period. Conclusion: Time to access use was less with endoscopic AVF-T (P < .01) for both primary and staged operations. Primary, assisted, and cumulative patency rates were the same for open and technically successful endoscopic transpositions. Endoscopic AVF-Ts offer a viable alternative to open AVF-Ts. © 2010 Society for Vascular Surgery.
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