Dialysis Therapy

Dialysis replaces the functions of healthy kidneys by filtering the blood of waste products and excess fluids and regulating vital ions within the body, including potassium, sodium, and bicarbonate. This procedure is recommended for patients who have reached end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

Dialysis may be performed in-center setting or within the comfort of the patient’s home:

In-center Hemodialysis

In-center dialysis, hemodialysis is commonly performed to eliminate wastes, excess chemicals, and fluid from the blood. The blood is filtered through an artificial kidney known as a dialyzer. The process takes place three times a week for 3-5 hours per visit.

Home Dialysis

Home Hemodialysis:
Patients may opt for hemodialysis at home as well for shorter sessions 4-7 times per week.

Peritoneal Home Dialysis:
Peritoneal dialysis is an alternative treatment available in the patient’s home: it involves using dialysate, a dialysis solution consisting of salt, water, and other additives. In peritoneal dialysis, blood is filtered through vessels in the abdominal lining known as the peritoneum. Then, waste materials and excess fluids are drained from the blood into the dialysate.

A key advantage in performing either type of dialysis at home is that patients can undergo dialysis overnight while asleep.

Frequently Asked Questions

A machine filters the patient’s blood of toxins and returns it to the body.
Dialysis is mostly a safe procedure, but it is not entirely free of complications. It may cause minor side effects, such as itching, joint pain, sleep problems, and muscle cramps. Dialysis may also result in more severe issues, such as abnormal blood pressure levels, anemia, infection at the site, and increased potassium levels. Fatigue is a common side effect of long-term dialysis treatment.
Patients and their physicians must take special precautions to ensure that there is no infection. Additionally, patients should consume a diet that is low in potassium and high in protein while monitoring their fluid intake. Fluid intake must also be monitored.
Before, during, and after the dialysis, the patient’s blood pressure and weight are measured and monitored closely.
The National Kidney Foundation recommends dialysis in patients whose glomerular filtration rate is 15 mL/min or less.
A session at a dialysis center usually lasts 3-5 hours and is performed 3 times a week.

In some cases, dialysis is only required until the kidney function returns. However, if dialysis is performed owing to kidney failure, it will be used permanently or until the patient obtains a kidney transplant.

Other than dialysis, kidney transplantation is the only effective means to address kidney failure.