How do I schedule a procedure at the VAC?
Most commonly, you will be referred to the VAC by your medical doctor, nephrologist or dialysis unit. You may also call the VAC directly.
Is there any special preparation for my procedure at the VAC?
At the VAC, intravenous medications are given during most procedures (except for those done with only local anesthesia) to reduce discomfort and make you sedated (conscious sedation). Therefore, you need to have nothing to eat or drink for 8 hours prior to your procedure. You may take your usual morning medications with a small sip of water unless instructed otherwise. If you are unsure if your procedure will be performed with conscious sedation, please call at least one day prior to your procedure to inquire.
May I drive to the VAC for my procedure?
If you are scheduled for a procedure at the VAC with conscious sedation, you cannot drive after the procedure. It is best to have a responsible adult transport you to and from the VAC. If your procedure is scheduled with only local anesthesia, you may drive yourself to and from the VAC.
What if I take insulin in the morning?
Please ask about your insulin dosing when you make your appointment. Most patients will not take their usual morning insulin injection on the day of the procedure.
What if I take blood thinner medications such as Coumadin, aspirin or Plavix?
Please ask about your blood thinner dosing when you make your appointment. While many patients will continue to take their usual blood thinner medications, some may be instructed to stop the medication prior to their procedure.
What happens when I arrive at the VAC?
You will be asked to complete a health questionnaire. After completion, you will be brought into the pre-op area to change into a gown. Some patients may require the insertion of an IV. A medical assistant and nurse will prepare you for your procedure. Your surgeon will explain the procedure and risks, answer any questions about your procedure and obtain your consent.
What happens during my procedure?
You will be transferred to the procedure room. The nurse will stay with you throughout your procedure and monitor your heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen saturation. If you are having a procedure with conscious sedation, the medications will be given intravenously as ordered by your surgeon. X-rays may be performed as needed during your procedure. For details about specific procedures, please visit The Vascular Access Center page.
What happens after my procedure?
After the procedure, you will be transferred to the recovery area. If you received conscious sedation, you will be monitored in recovery for at least 30 minutes. If you received only local anesthesia, you will be able to leave soon after your procedure. You will be given written discharge instructions. After discharge, you will be able to eat, drink and take your normal medications. If you were given conscious sedation, you will be given a list of restrictions including no driving, no operating machinery, no drinking alcohol and no signing legal documents for 24 hours.
What if I have questions or problems after my discharge from the VAC?
You will be given a telephone number to call for questions or problems that is answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.