Recognizing the impact of the decision making by the dialysis access surgeon on the successful placement of autogenous arteriovenous hemodialysis access, the Society for Vascular Surgery assembled a multispecialty panel to develop practice guidelines in arteriovenous access placement and maintenance with the aim of maximizing the percentage and functionality of autogenous arteriovenous accesses that are placed. The Society commissioned the Knowledge and Encounter Research Unit of the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota, to systematically review the available evidence in three main areas provided by the panel: timing of referral to access surgeons, type of access placed, and effectiveness of surveillance. The panel then formulated practice guidelines in seven areas: timing of referral to the access surgeon, operative strategies to maximize the placement of autogenous arteriovenous accesses, first choice for the autogenous access, choice of arteriovenous access when a patient is not a suitable candidate for a forearm autogenous access, the role of monitoring and surveillance in arteriovenous access management, conversion of a prosthetic arteriovenous access to a secondary autogenous arteriovenous access, and management of the nonfunctional or failed arteriovenous access. For each of the guidelines, the panel stated the recommendation or suggestion, discussed the evidence or opinion upon which the recommendation or suggestion was made, detailed the values and preferences that influenced the group's decision in formulating the relevant guideline, and discussed technical remarks related to the particular guideline. In addition, detailed information is provided on various configurations of autogenous and prosthetic accesses and technical tips related to their placement. © 2008.