How is this procedure performed?
Follow your doctor’s orders to prepare for this surgery. Those who are right-handed will often have the left arm chosen for surgery — the right arm for those who are left-handed. If a blood test is ordered before surgery, always ask to have the blood drawn from the arm that will not be operated on.
In the operating room your arm will be swabbed with antiseptic solution and numbed with a small shot so you will feel no discomfort. You may receive additional medicine to relax you and make you feel drowsy. Antibiotics are given to lessen the chance of infection. In most cases, the entire operation will take about 90 minutes.
When the AV graft is implanted, two small incisions are made (AV grafts are commonly placed in the forearm, but they can also be placed in the upper arm or the thigh if necessary). A tunnel is made under the skin to aid in the placement of the graft. One end of the graft is sewn to the artery and the other to the vein. Blood will then flow rapidly from the artery through the graft into the vein.