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Use of stents for venous stenosis associated with dialysis vascular access

Gerald A Beathard, MD, PhD
Section Editor
Steve J Schwab, MD
Deputy Editor
Kathryn A Collins, MD, PhD, FACS


The role of the endoluminal stent in the management of venous stenosis of dialysis access is unclear. Although stents can help manage some access difficulties, they are sometimes inappropriately utilized. Stents are not permanent solutions. With the exception of the Flair™ Endovascular Stent Graft (C. R. Bard, Inc.; Tempe, AZ), they are not FDA approved for dialysis vascular access use. In addition, they add significant cost and a new set of possible complications.

The clinician should therefore be very selective in the use of stents for the treatment of stenotic dialysis access. Stent placement is justified only when its use will clearly result in one or more of the following benefits:

Extends access life

Saves an otherwise failed access

Avoids surgery


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Literature review current through: Mar 2016. | This topic last updated: Nov 26, 2012.
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