Introduction: Different techniques of guidewire exchange of tunneled catheters for hemodialysis (HD) have been reported. This study was carried out to assess the feasibility of a new procedure in chronic HD patients who needed catheter exchange because of mechanical dysfunction. Methods: The guidewire exchange method was based on the creation of a new exit site and a new subcutaneous tunnel while using the same venous insertion site. This was a retrospective study of exchanged tunneled catheters because of mechanical complications in patients on chronic HD between June 1, 2015, and December 31, 2019. The feasibility of the procedure was defined by successful exchange and catheter patency at 6 months. Catheter survival and immediate complications were reported. Results: A total of 49 procedures were performed in 34 HD patients. There was no catheter insertion failure. At 6 months, 6 catheters have lost their patency because of a mechanical complication. Thus, the success rate of the procedure was 43/49 (87.8%). Catheter survival censored on death, transplantation, or vascular access creation was 97.8% at 90 days, 86.2% at 180 days, and 74.5% at 1 year. The median catheter survival was 10.2 months. Among the 49 procedures, there were 9 hematomas at the insertion site that did not require surgical intervention. Discussion/Conlusion: Our study shows that guidewire exchange of a tunneled HD catheter by creating a new exit site and a new subcutaneous tunnel by using the same venous access is a newer method in chronic HD patients. This procedure should not be used in patients with coagulation issues. Additional studies are needed to compare the different methods of HD catheter exchange.

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