Occlusion of the proximal vein in chronic hemodialysis patients results in vein hypertension and a "swollen arm". The usual treatment for this "swollen arm" consists in closing up the fistula and making another access on the contralateral member. But this is not always possible and, with some patients, recanalization is the only solution. We have performed 4 recanalizations successfully: 2 accesses remain permeable after 10 and 24 months, another patient needed to be fitted with two endoprosthesis just after recanalization and access, in his case, remained permeable until he died of intestinal ischemic syndrome six months later. The fourth patient presented a reocclusion two months later but could not be reoperated on because of bad general state of health. An attempt to perform recanalization on a fifth patient was a failure. Such results show that recanalization of a thrombosed proximal vein is worth attempting before closing access for good.