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HERO Graft

The HERO (hemodialysis reliable outflow) graft is a special graft provided for patients who are dependent on dialysis, have previously had a fistula or graft that failed or for those who have a blockage or clot within their blood vessel (vascular occlusion) that prevents them from receiving a fistula or graft. This procedure is a combined effort between the departments of interventional radiology and vascular surgery.

How to Prepare for HERO Graft

  • Plan to arrive an hour before the procedure.
  • Your interventional radiologist may request imaging, such as a venography, to see the veins.

What to Expect

  • The procedure takes approximately 2 hours.
  • You will be under mild sedation, so you will not feel any pain during the procedure.
  • A small incision is made to the arm.
  • Your interventional radiologist may first perform an angioplasty if your veins are narrow or blocked. A thin tube (catheter) with a balloon attached is inserted into the vein and expanded, opening the vessel and clearing blockages.
  • The venous outflow component is fed through an incision in the neck and into the right atrium of the heart.
  • The graft tube is inserted through the arm; one end is sewn to an artery, and the other connects to the outflow component. Blood will begin to flow between the two.
  • The incision will be closed with stitches.

What to Expect after HERO Graft

  • You will recover within an hour, and can resume normal activities afterwards.
  • Your vascular surgeon will follow up with you to monitor the GRAFT and indicate when it is ready for use.

For More Information

For more information on HERO grafts, or to schedule an appointment with an interventional radiologist, please call 847.570.2160.