Flixene IFG vascular graft used in a Detroit hospital for effective dialysis

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A team of physicians at DMC Harper University Hospital, Detroit, USA, on 17 Jul 2013, announced that they have successfully treated several patients with a new vascular graft that significantly reduces the risk of trauma to blood vessels used in connecting patients to the kidney dialysis machines.

The new vascular graft device—a specially engineered plastic tube that links veins to arteries to form a “bridge” between them as part of maintaining a safe and long-lasting connection between patient and kidney dialysis machine—is especially effective because it does not require suturing blood vessels, as happens in more traditional “venous anastomosis” surgical procedures, according to kidney specialists at the DMC.

Recently approved by the FDA for use in the USA, the Flixene IFG allows the connection between vein and artery to be made via the plastic tube. “The good news for kidney patients is that the use of this new vascular tool means it is no longer necessary to sew the graft into place,” said Yevgeniy Rits, vascular surgeon and director of the Harper Dialysis Access Center.  “Because there are fewer traumas to the blood vessels involved, there is less chance that the graft will fail.”

The two-year-old Harper programme “has gained another very important tool,” said Rits.

“For many chronic kidney disease patients, good access to the dialysis machine is absolutely essential”, he added.  “Without it, the chances for a long-term successful outcome are greatly reduced.  In addition, the possibility of eventually being able to undergo a successful kidney transplant is much smaller for those who lose the vital ’lifeline’ which permits effective dialysis over an extended period of time.”

“I think what is really significant about our programme is that it is targeted to the thousands of Detroit-area patients who have an urgent need to maintain safe, healthy access to kidney dialysis”, he said.

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