Kidney Dialysis Access
The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) offers comprehensive, regional care in Maryland for people who are experiencing renal (kidney) failure.
Our surgeons travel to regional clinics to evaluate potential transplant patients and perform surgical procedures for dialysis access. This regional setup allows us to treat hundreds of patients every year.
UMMC's dialysis access clinics serve patients who are on or are planning to begin peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis (long-term therapy to replace failing kidney function).
The clinics offer:
- Skilled surgeons in your community: Surgeons from the UMMC Division of Transplantation travel to practices around the state to treat patients who have end-stage kidney disease. They provide expert access placement for the safest, most sustainable dialysis. Meet our team.
- Comprehensive dialysis care: Our experienced physicians and nurse coordinators help you evaluate all of your treatment options. We help you and your physicians make dialysis work as long as possible and prepare for transplant, if appropriate. Learn about types of dialysis at UMMC clinics.
- Convenient transplant evaluations: You can benefit from available transplant evaluation in your own backyard, as well as outstanding surgical care right in your community.
- Effective dialysis treatment to reduce infection risks: Since we began our dialysis access clinics, community dialysis units have seen a significant drop in the number of patients using temporary hemodialysis catheters. This drop has led to fewer patients being admitted to the hospital to treat blood infections related to these catheters.
You and your physician can decide if you want to pursue kidney transplant as an option for kidney failure.
If you choose transplant evaluation, we can conduct most of the evaluation at your regional clinic in your own community. Transplant evaluations involve:
- In a group session, we meet to discuss the transplant process and respond to general questions.
- We meet with you to hear and respond to private concerns.
- You may meet with up to 7 members of our transplant team.
- We work to have most pre-transplant testing completed in your local community to reduce the need for travel. Many patients do not need to drive to Baltimore until they are ready to receive their transplant.
There are two ways someone can become a patient at our dialysis access clinics:
- You can ask your primary care doctor or your nephrologist (kidney specialist) about a referral to our clinics. Medical professionals, learn more details for referring physicians or call 1-410-328-5408 or 1-800-492-5538.
- You can ask your dialysis unit to refer you if you need permanent access or if you are having trouble with the permanent access you are currently using.
With either route, it is not necessary to receive a temporary catheter (a tube that a surgeon places into a vein in your neck or chest) before coming to us. Ideally, patients receive a permanent access to start instead of a temporary catheter.
A permanent access helps you avoid complications that sometimes happen with temporary catheters, including clogs and infections.
Learn more about types of dialysis.
The University of Maryland dialysis access team brings care to patients at convenient locations across Maryland. We perform dialysis access consultations and procedures at the following locations:
- University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore
- University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center
- University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton
Dialysis access clinic staff also works closely with nephrologists and local dialysis units to coordinate interventional radiology services. These partnerships allow surgeons to de-clot access sites and fix access sites that have become too narrow.
We perform these procedures at the University of Maryland Medical System hospital where the patient is seen. When the time comes, we perform transplant surgeries at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore.
See the clinic location map to find a dialysis access location near you.
For additional information about our kidney transplant program or to speak to someone about becoming a living kidney donor, please call 1-410-328-5408 or 1-800-492-5538.
If you are interested in becoming a living kidney donor, please download our questionnaire.
For referring physicians: To refer a patient or get more information, please call 1-800-373-4111. A physician service representative from Consultation and Referral Services will direct your call to the appropriate physician or department.
For more details, please visit our section for referring physicians.