The recently published guidelines of the National Kidney Foundation-Dialysis Outcome Quality Initiative have focused on improving patient outcomes and survival by providing recommendations for optimal clinical practice. These guidelines firmly endorse the establishment of autogenous hemodialysis access and recommend a 40% to 50% prevalence of autogenous fistulas among all hemodialysis patients. As surgeons strive to meet these guidelines it will be necessary to extend autogenous reconstruction to older individuals, diabetics, and patients with suitable vein only in the upper arm. These individuals are at increased risk for the development of the ischemic steal syndrome. It is paramount that surgeons who perform vascular access procedures have a firm understanding of the symptoms, diagnostic maneuvers, and treatment options for the ischemic steal syndrome after hemodialysis access procedures. (C) 2000 by the American College of Surgeons.
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