End-stage renal disease (ESRD) is increasing in epidemic proportions worldwide. Therefore, vascular access procedures are rapidly becoming the most common surgery performed in the world.
In the United States, there are approximately 300,000 people on dialysis. This number is growing by 15% or more each year, and will consequently double this patient population in 4 to 6 years. Total annual costs are expected to exceed $28 billion by 2010. continue reading