On January 15, 2020, Manatee Memorial Hospital became the first hospital on the Florida West Coast to perform a new procedure using the WavelinQ™ 4 French (4F) EndoAVF System (WavelinQ), a device that offers a new non-surgical way to prepare patients for kidney dialysis.
General surgeons Jenna Kazil, MD, and Howard Hermans, MD, will be performing this outpatient, non-surgical procedure at the hospital.
The WavelinQ uses radio frequency (RF) to create the connection between a vein and artery, called a fistula, which is an important step in dialysis treatment for patients. Developed by BD Bard, this endo AVF (arteriovenous fistula) procedure marks the first major advancement in fistula creation in the last 50 years. A fistula provides for access to the bloodstream so that blood may be removed from the body, cleansed in a hemodialysis machine and returned to the body for patients experiencing kidney failure.
This new technology replaces the need for open surgery to create the fistula, by effectively fusing the artery and vein using a burst of RF energy to create the connection between the blood vessels. Before this technology, three traditional methods of treatment existed: inserting an external catheter near the heart; connecting an artificial tube, or shunt, between the artery and vein; and connecting an artery and vein directly via open surgery.
The outpatient procedure is performed by inserting two thin, flexible, magnetic catheters into an artery and vein in the arm through a small puncture or incision which is far smaller than traditional surgical incisions.
The WavelinQ increases procedural flexibility for physicians while reducing risk of scarring or arm disfigurement for patients compared to open surgical arteriovenous fistula creation.
“When we learned about the WavelinQ, we immediately wanted to offer this procedure to our community’s kidney dialysis patients," said Kevin DiLallo, CEO, Manatee Memorial Hospital. "Manatee Memorial Hospital is proud to be the first hospital in the area to offer this less invasive and non-surgical procedure."