Dialysis port – how to dress when going for dialysis?

For dialysis patients, there are lots of rules and regulations to follow. There are rules related to the food choices, rules to keep cleanliness, and medication. Also, there are rules on how to get dressed …


For dialysis patients, there are lots of rules and regulations to follow. There are rules related to the food choices, rules to keep cleanliness, and medication. Also, there are rules on how to get dressed for your access to the dialysis port.

Before we go further let’s know a little about the dialysis port

A dialysis catheter is used to exchange blood to or from a patient and hemodialysis machine. There are two openings in the catheter- a red one (arterial) to draw blood from the vein and out of the body into the dialysis. The other is a blue opening that allows clean blood to come back to the body.

4 types of Dialysis access

1. Central venous catheter or CVC

This is a flexible, plastic, long, y shaped tube that is threaded into your skin into the central vein in the chest, neck, or groin.  This type of dialysis access is not permanent. This is used only when you need immediate dialysis or in emergency cases when there is no AV fistula or graft access.

2. AV fistula

Another type of dialysis access is the AV fistula. In this, there is a surgical connection done between the vein and artery. This dialysis access is created usually in the non-dominant arm of the patient however it can also be created in the leg.

These rules are not so strict however they are important to follow. Dialysis patient has to wear clothes that make it easy for your care partner or tech to access you and make sure that the dialysis is not interrupted by any means. It results in a high blood flow rate via the vein and helps strengthen and enlarges the vein.

3. AV graft

AV graft is similar to AV fistula. For some time with damaged or blocked veins or have small veins then will be required to go through AV graft. AV graft is also a surgical method however needs a connection of an artery directly to a vein. There will be a synthetic small hollow tube connected to your vein and the other end connected to the artery.

4. PD catheter

This type of dialysis access is needed for peritoneal dialysis. It uses linen of the belly and a solution called dialysate solution to clean the blood of the patient. This dialysis is best as it can be performed at home and are less time-consuming.

So, this was all about the dialysis and it’s access types.

On the day of dialysis, you will be e in the dialysis chair for about 4 hours. Thus you will need to wear something comfortable. Also since the treatment room is very cold thus, you should wear socks, sweatshirts. However, wearing a normal sweet shirt or any clothing can be not enough. Because your card taker will find it hard to every time roll up the sleeves and access the fistula in the arm or graft. Even if the sleeves are lost still it can cause some problems.

When going for any type of dialysis access, it is important to keep your access clean to avoid any kind of infection. Thus choosing your clothes for the dialysis day is very important. You must avoid wearing constraining fabrics or tight clothes near your access part like Spandex.

Also, if you wear any constructive item near the Dialysis site such as watches, and jewelry. It can cause undue pressure near the AV fistula and increase the risk of clotting.

Always wear something comfortable instead of fashionable when going to the dialysis center. You can wear clothing like-

  • Wool gloves or arm length cotton gloves
  • Stretchable cotton leggings
  • Fleece fabrics

Some ideas on how to dress when going for dialysis port

1. Shirt with inseam zippers- if you make use of shirts that have inseam zippers on both arms then your tech or care partner can access the catheter and dialysis fistulas while treatment. There at the store, you can find shirts for both men and women with inseam zippers on the arm.

2. Warm clothes- since the hospital or clinics have AC in the treatment rooms, it can make you feel cold and uncomfortable. Thus, get some warm clothes made of cotton that will keep you warm. You can also wear full-size shirts or hoodies to keep yourself warm.

3. Accessible pockets- choosing a dress with inner pockets can be of help as you can hold items like drain bulk after a tummy tuck, mastectomy, or other surgery that needs holding pleural drain. Apart from that when you have a pocket on your shirt it can let you carry many medical devices with you.

4. Invisible zippers- with normal clothing it can be hard for the care partner to access your chest for Dialysis. But having zippers on the shoulders as well as down middle shirt make it easy to access the chest or port catheter.

5. Antimicrobial clothing- a patient who has gone through surgery or other medical conditions needs clothes free from microbes. Wearing an antimicrobial cloth will protect the skin lesions and surgical incision from contamination by mildew, mold, and fungi. If you wear normal clothes then it can result in infection because of microbes.

Not only this but you can select the dress according to the type of treatment you are going through. For instance, if you are going for chemotherapy, dialysis, or posteropertion then selecting a dress as per the treatment will make it easy to access your body and get treatment with comfort.

Not only this, along with these types of clothing, you can pair the jacket and caps or scarf to feel comfortable and it will not make you look different from others. You can find out more clothing ideas when going to the dialysis port. All the types of clothing for men and women are available at stitch medical.

Make sure to pick the proper size of clothes make sure it’s not too tight nor too loose but it should be comfortable enough to move around.

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