Courtesy of NWI.Life
Written by Kayla Belec
Chronic kidney disease affects millions of people worldwide. In the U.S. alone, more than 440,000 patients have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and are surviving on hemodialysis. Methodist Hospitals has invested in new technology that makes the lives of ESRD patients a little easier.
On Feb. 7, 2019, BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a leading global medical technology company, received federal clearance for the WavelinQ™ 4 French (4F) EndoAVF System. Simply speaking, the technology creates a minimally invasive alternative for patients to begin dialysis treatments.
Methodist Hospitals is the first hospital system in Northwest Indiana to invest in this technology. The procedure is performed by Interventional Radiologist Dr. Rajiv Kumar. “The new technology gives physicians more flexibility in how they create the fistula for hemodialysis and provides patients with a non-surgical option and no scarring,” said Dr. Kumar.
End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) is the final stage of kidney disease. When patients have ESRD, their kidneys can no longer keep up with the body’s need to remove extra waste and water. Once kidney function goes below 10-15 percent of normal function, dialysis treatments or a kidney transplant are necessary to sustain life.
In order to administer hemodialysis treatment, clinicians must first establish viable access to the patient’s bloodstream. Most commonly, the access created is called an arteriovenous (AV) fistula, which is a connection between an artery and a vein. In the past, open surgery has been the only option available. Once an AV fistula is established blood flow to the vein is increased allowing for a clinician to draw blood from the vein and filter it through a dialysis machine ultimately to be returned to a patient’s body.
The WavelinQ™ 4F EndoAVF System provides clinicians with a minimally invasive AVF creation alternative to open surgery. In a traditional AVF procedure, the fistula is created by making a surgical incision, moving the vein and artery from adjacent tissues, and stitching together the vein and artery in the arm. In contrast, the WavelinQ™ EndoAVF System uses single needle access into an artery and vein in the arm and creates a channel between the two without making any surgical incisions.
The procedure consists of two thin, flexible catheters that are inserted in adjacent blood vessels within the arm under imaging guidance. Once the catheters are in position a channel is then crated between the artery and the vein and confirmed with angiography. The catheters are then removed and the AV fistula is complete. The blood flow begins to flow from the artery into the vein and over a short time interval the AV fistula becomes mature enough to support hemodialysis.
“People living with ESRD are an underserved patient population with very limited treatment options available to them,” said Steve Williamson, worldwide president of Peripheral Intervention at BD, in a recent press release. “We’re excited to add WavelinQ™ 4F EndoAVF System to our portfolio of technologies that create, restore and/or maintain AV access for patients on hemodialysis. Endovascular specialists now have an additional tool that enables the flexibility needed to support AV fistula creation for their patients.”
Patients at Methodist Hospitals are already experiencing the benefits of the WavelinQ™ 4F EndoAVF System. Pictured above is Rosa Davis, the first Methodist Hospitals patient to receive the procedure. She is pictured with Interventional Radiologist Dr. Rajiv Kumar and Nephrologist Dr. Katrina Wright, who referred Rosa to Dr. Kumar for the procedure.