Vascular Surgery – Formation of Arterio-venous Fistula

Patient Experience

  • Reference Number: HEY-hey 1363-2023
  • Departments: Day Surgery (DSC) (CHH), Vascular Surgery
  • Last Updated: 1 May 2023


This advice sheet has been produced to give you information about your surgery. Most of your questions should be answered by this leaflet. It is not intended to replace discussion between you and the healthcare team, but may act as a starting point for discussion If, after reading it you require further explanation please discuss this with a member of the healthcare team.

The dialysis nurse will look after your fistula when you attend for dialysis. If you are not currently on dialysis, your fistula will be checked at your next renal clinic appointment or an appointment will be made for you to attend the Vascular Access clinic in 6 – 8 weeks’ time. Any concerns in the interim please contact the Renal Access Nurse.

However it is important that you look for signs of swelling, soreness, redness, bleeding or other discharges.

It is very important to check that your fistula is working. The nurse will show you how to do this before you go home.

  • Please DO check that your fistula is ‘buzzing’ every day.
  • Please DO NOT put any creams or lotions on your wound.
  • Please DO NOT allow the wound to become wet when bathing /showering
  • If your fistula stops ‘buzzing’ then you must tell the staff at the Renal unit or Renal Access Nurse immediately

Avoid any injury to your arm.

Avoid constrictions on your fistula arm e.g. jewellery, watch, cuffs, tight clothing , armbands.

Do not lift heavy objects with your fistula arm for at least eight weeks

You should not drive for 2 weeks

  • Never let anyone take your blood pressure on your fistula arm.
  • Never let anyone take blood from or insert any type of needle except for dialysis needles in your fistula arm.


Your consultant is………………………………………………….

Your surgeon is…………………………………………………….


If you have any problems or need further advice please contact:

Hull Royal Infirmary

Renal Access Nurse (01482) 608709

Renal Unit (01482) 608748 (Nurses Station)

During weekends and Bank Holidays:

Ward 50 (01482) 675050 (Nurses station)  (01482) 674980 (Sisters Office)

Special Instructions: 


Looking after your fistula after your discharge

You will have dissolvable stitches at the site of the operation.

Keep your fistula arm warm as this will help the blood flow through the fistula.

You may be given dressings to cover your fistula to protect it until it is healed.

Should you require further advice on the issues contained in this advice sheet, please do not hesitate to contact the Clinic Telephone (01482) 608709

This leaflet was produced by the Day Surgery Department, Castle Hill Hospital, Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and will be reviewed in May 2026

General Advice and Consent

Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet, but remember that this is only a starting point for discussion with the healthcare team.

Consent to treatment

Before any doctor, nurse or therapist examines or treats you, they must seek your consent or permission. In order to make a decision, you need to have information from health professionals about the treatment or investigation which is being offered to you. You should always ask them more questions if you do not understand or if you want more information.

The information you receive should be about your condition, the alternatives available to you, and whether it carries risks as well as the benefits. What is important is that your consent is genuine or valid. That means:

  • you must be able to give your consent
  • you must be given enough information to enable you to make a decision
  • you must be acting under your own free will and not under the strong influence of another person

Information about you

We collect and use your information to provide you with care and treatment. As part of your care, information about you will be shared between members of a healthcare team, some of whom you may not meet. Your information may also be used to help train staff, to check the quality of our care, to manage and plan the health service, and to help with research. Wherever possible we use anonymous data.

We may pass on relevant information to other health organisations that provide you with care. All information is treated as strictly confidential and is not given to anyone who does not need it. If you have any concerns please ask your doctor, or the person caring for you.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you or your carer needs information about your health and wellbeing and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.

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