State’s First Endovascular Procedure for Dialysis Patients Performed at Baton Rouge General

Vascular surgeon Dr. Joseph Griffin was the first physician in Louisiana and the second in the country to perform a new endovascular procedure for patients with chronic kidney disease. Performed at Baton Rouge General, the procedure gives surgeons a minimally invasive way to create access to the bloodstream, which is critical for dialysis treatment.

In the U.S., there are nearly 450,000 patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), the final stage of kidney disease. ESRD patients require dialysis to stay alive because their kidney function is too low to remove the necessary fluid and toxins. Clinicians need access to the bloodstream in order to administer dialysis, and most commonly, this is done by creating an arteriovenous (AF) fistula. A fistula is a surgically created connection between an artery and vein, and is typically placed in a patient’s arm.

“These patients depend on dialysis access as their lifeline for treatment,” said Griffin. “This innovative new procedure does not require open surgery to create the access, which had been the standard of care for over 50 years.”

In addition, the endovascular AVF approach lessens the trauma to a patient’s blood vessels and creates the access in a different area in the forearm, near the ulnar artery and ulnar vein.

“The new technique also gives patients the best chance to use their natural blood vessels instead of a more complicated, surgical procedure using a graft,” added Griffin.

The procedure utilizes the WavelinQ EndoAVF System, which was cleared this summer by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

Dr. Joseph Griffin, center, is joined by, from left to right, James Myers, Amanda Holden, and Leslie Klein after the successful completion of the new procedure at Baton Rouge General.