Interventional nephrology groups together a variety of procedures needed to best treat patients who need some form of kidney replacement therapy when their own kidneys no longer work sufficiently and a kidney transplant is not available. Given the growing volume of patients facing dialysis, interventional nephrology first focuses on managing and maintaining vascular access for dialysis, as well as placing and replacing catheters that give access to the circulatory system for dialysis. Dialysis helps to keep your body in balance when your kidneys fail by removing waste, salt and extra water; keeping a safe level of certain chemicals in your blood, such as potassium, sodium and bicarbonate; and helping to control blood pressure.
Interventional nephrology involves a range of specialized imaging and other diagnostic techniques to evaluate blood flow and pressure, vessel anatomy and possible blockages in the flow circuit. During procedures, blockages can be treated and blood clots removed to improve the circulation in the dialysis access.