I had my fistula created in April 2010. Thank God I've never had to use it as I got a pre-emptive tx a year ago. The bit where the vein is sewn onto the artery (can't remember the term...anamatosis?) is practically on the crook of my left arm.
On the face of it, there are no aneurysms or anything like that. But you can place your hand over the entire middle third of my arm, and you can feel the ropes of blood vessels. I am always aware if its presence. Sometimes toward the end of the day, my arm feels sore. Sometimes certain areas are almost painful.
I had to see my GP yesterday for an unrelated matter, and while I was there, I showed him my fistula. He remarked that just by feeling it, he could tell there was a high flow rate through that whole area. Well, duh. He suggested I talk to my neph, who I suspect will send me to my vascular surgeon, etc etc etc.
Just for the record, no one in my tx team has ever mentioned doing anything with my fistula. I have not mentioned it because I just don't want another THING to have to think about right now. I just want this whole nightmare behind me. I know that's remiss of me, but I've been lucky in that I've not had any major problems this first year post tx, and I don't want to go opening any cans of worms.
I have read up on the subject, and the general consensus in the medical community is that the thing should be left alone unless it was causing measureable problems. But I do worry a bit about cardiac consequences, plus any surgery carries risk.
I did do a search on this forum on this topic but was given no results, so I apologize if this topic has been talked to death. I did find some older discussions but would like to hear newer stories with perhaps updated information. So, is there anyone else here who has never had to use their fistula but has had it tied off? I'd really appreciate some discussion on this. Thanks ever so much!