Minneapolis Vascular Surgery Center - av fistula exercise

By: Minnesota Vascular Surgery Center  11-11-2011
Keywords: Exercise, How To Exercise

AV Fistula

How to Exercise Your New AV Fistula

You should be able to start these exercises 2-3 weeks after the fistula surgery. It is very important to exercise your fistula by following the guidelines below.

For AV fistulas in the wrist:

  1. Place a tourniquet around the bicep muscle of your fistula arm (a few inches above your elbow).
  2. Tighten the tourniquet with mild to moderate pressure, tight enough to barely slip a finger between tourniquet and skin.
  3. Exercise by squeezing a ball or sponge in the hand of the fistula arm.
  4. Exercise for 5-10 minutes at a time.
  5. Release the tourniquet as soon as you are done with each session.
  6. Repeat this same procedure 3-5 times per day.

For AV fistulas in the upper arm:

  1. Place a tourniquet around the arm close to the armpit of your fistula arm.
  2. Tighten the tourniquet with mild to moderate pressure, tight enough to barely slip a finger between tourniquet and skin.
  3. Exercise by squeezing a ball or sponge in the hand of the fistula arm.
  4. Exercise for 5-10 minutes at a time.
  5. Release the tourniquet as soon as you are done with each session.
  6. Repeat this same procedure 3-5 times per day.

ALWAYS CHECK FOR:

  • The “bruit” {brew-ee} of the fistula. The bruit is a “whooshing” sound of the fistula. This can be checked by placing your ear to the fistula.
  • The“thrill”of the fistula. The thrill is a powerful pulse felt on the top of the fistula. It should feel like a buzz.
  • Call your doctor immediately if:
    • You cannot hear the bruit or feel the thrill, as this could be a sign that the fistula has clotted.
    • You notice redness, swelling or drainage from your fistula.
    • You develop a fever or feel very ill.

Keywords: Exercise, How To Exercise

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