Nephrology Associates of Northern Illinois and Indiana (NANI), the largest nephrology group in the USA, is the first practice in Illinois to adopt the Ellipsys vascular access system (Avenu Medical, now part of Medtronic), a technology for patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) who require haemodialysis treatments.
In May 2020, interventional nephrologist Gautam Bhanushali first used the Ellipsys system to create an endovascular fistula at NANI Vascular’s Willow Springs Surgery Center in Justice, USA. He has completed nearly a dozen Ellipsys procedures to date, and NANI plans to implement the Ellipsys technology at its other five outpatient vascular access centres in the near future.
“It is a very safe procedure, and research shows that fistulas created with Ellipsys can be used for dialysis sooner than surgically-created ones and that they also work for much longer periods of time,” said Bhanushali. “Patients find this new process much more appealing. Not only are they coming in for a procedure that has a higher likelihood of success, but it requires only a single needle stick instead of surgery, so they walk out with just a band aid on their arm. Our goal is to make the lives of dialysis patients easier, and that is exactly what Ellipsys does.”
For NANI, the use of the Ellipsys System will be a key part of the practice’s participation in the Kidney Care First (KCF) model, part of the federal government’s Advancing American Kidney Care initiative, according to chief executive officer Brian O’Dea. The initiative is designed to improve kidney patient health and quality of life, a large part of which is having ESRD patients begin dialysis with fistulas instead of central venous catheters (CVCs).
“Having a well-informed patient start dialysis with a functional fistula, under the care of a nephrologist, is invaluable,” said O’Dea. “That is what is being incentivised under these programmes, and we are pleased that the Ellipsys technology helps us comply with their guidelines and make a difference for our patients.”