An arteriovenous fistula (AVF) is an abnormal connection between a vein and an artery. Generally, the blood flows from the arteries to the capillaries to the veins. Nutrients and oxygen in the blood travel from capillaries to tissues in the body.

With the AVF, blood flows directly from an artery into a vein, bypassing some capillaries. In this condition, tissues below the bypassed capillaries receive diminished blood supply. AVF commonly occur in the legs, but may develop anywhere in the body. Untreated arteriovenous fistula leads to serious complications. We at Vimhans PrimaMed Institute of Cardiothoracic & Vascular Surgery provide state-of-the-art surgical and non-surgical treatments for AVF. With our qualified and experienced surgeons we ensure out patients get the best treatment for their problems related to AVF and thoracic.

Causes

Cardiac catheterization- An arteriovenous fistula may occur due to the complication of a procedure called cardiac catheterization. During the cardiac catheterization procedure, a long and thin tube is inserted in an artery in the groin, arm or neck and threaded through the blood vessels to your heart. If the needle which is used in catheterization crosses an artery during the procedure and the artery is widened, can create an arteriovenous fistula. Injuries that pierce the skin- arteriovenous fistula may also occur after a piercing injury like a gunshot or stab wound.

Genetic condition- arteriovenous fistulas in the lungs can also be occurred due to a genetic disease that causes blood vessels to develop abnormally throughout your body.

Symptoms

Although small arteriovenous fistulas in your arms, legs, kidneys, lungs or brain often will not have any symptoms or signs, but larger arteriovenous fistulas may cause signs and symptoms that include:

Swelling in the arms or legs
Purplish, bulging veins that can be seen through the skin, similar to varicose veins
Fatigue
Decreased blood pressure
Heart failure

An arteriovenous fistula is your lungs is a serious condition that can cause:

Clubbing of fingers
Blueness of the skin
Coughing up blood

Treatments

In case you arteriovenous fistula requires treatment, your medical-care expert may recommend:

Ultrasound-guided compression- In case you have an arteriovenous fistula in your legs and it is easily visible on ultrasound, treatment with the ultrasound-guided compression may be an alternative for you. In this treatment, an ultrasound probe is utilized in order to compress the fistula and block the flood flow to the damaged vessels.

Catheter embolization- A catheter is commonly inserted in an artery near the site of arteriovenous fistula. Physicians use X-ray and other imaging techniques for guiding the catheter to the fistula, and a small stent or coil is placed at the site of fistula to reroute the blood flow.

Surgery- Arteriovenous fistula that cannot be treated with catheter embolization requires surgery. The surgery you need depends more on the size and location of the arteriovenous fistula.

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