Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital is the first in Arizona to offer a new nonsurgical procedure to prepare kidney failure patients for dialysis treatment. The WavelinQ system uses radio frequency to create an arteriovenous fistula, an important step in creating an access point for dialysis treatment.
The new WavelinQ 6F EndoAVF system does not require open surgery of traditional AV fistula creation. It can be performed in the hospital’s Endovascular suite, according to Scott Berman, M.D., who performed the first WavelinQ procedure at St. Mary’s Hospital.
“Only two small punctures are needed for inserting catheters into the artery and vein. Magnets on the catheters pull them together and radiofrequency is applied, which makes a hole between the two to create the AV fistula,” said Dr. Berman. “Previously, this connection was done by making an incision in the forearm and suturing an artery and vein together.”
Connecting the artery and vein increases blood flow and causes the vein to grow. A larger vein allows the right amount of blood flow for a patient to receive sufficient dialysis treatment. Creating and maintaining this connection is crucial for patients to be able to receive life-sustaining dialysis.
“The AV fistula can be used for hemodialysis after a healing time of around six weeks with this new procedure. Recovery time can be significantly shorter than with open surgery, presumably because there is less trauma to the area,” he noted.
Dialysis is needed for individuals who have end-stage kidney failure, which is typically when 85-90 percent of kidney function is lost.
“WavelinQ provides a new option for those who need dialysis. We’re proud of the team at St. Mary’s Hospital for the care they provide. It’s quite an honor to lead the way in Arizona and be the first to offer the procedure,” said Ryan Harper, Chief Operating Officer, Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital.