A fistulogram is a special x-ray procedure. It uses contrast (x-ray dye) to look at the blood flow in your AV fistula or graft (dialysis access) while using fluoroscopy, or “live” x-ray. This procedure can check to see if it is blocked or if there is any narrowing (stenosis) in your fistula.

What should I expect during my fistulogram?

We will bring you into the procedure room and connect you to equipment that monitors and records your vital signs. Medical sedation may be given if you have been medically cleared.

After cleaning the area with an antiseptic soap and draping the area with sterile drapes, we will numb a small area on the skin at the site of the AV fistula using local anesthetic. A small tube called a sheath is then inserted and x-ray dye (contrast) is injected. If there is a narrowing of one of the vessels in the fistula, a small balloon can be inserted through the sheath and the narrow area can be opened by inflating the balloon. Once the procedure is finished, the sheath is removed and a small stitch will be placed at the site and covered with a small bandage. You will then be taken to recovery and a final set of vitals will be taken before you are discharged.