Dialysis is a type of medical renal replacement therapy used to provide an artificial replacement for lost kidney function due to renal failure. It is itself a life-support treatment and does not treat kidney disease. When healthy, the kidneys remove waste products (ie. Potassium, acid and urea) from the blood and also remove excess fluid in the form of urine. Dialysis treatments have to duplicate both of these functions as dialysis (waste removal) and ultrafiltration (fluid removal).
Total or nearly total and/or permanent kidney failure is called end stage renal disease (ESRD). When this happens, your body fills with extra water and waste in a condition called “uremia”. Your hands and feet may swell, and you may feel tired and weak because your body needs clean blood to function properly. Untreated uremia may lead to seizures or coma – and will ultimately result in death. If your kidneys stop working completely, you will need to consider dialysis or a kidney transplant.
You have choices with dialysis. One choice is whether you want to receive dialysis treatment in an in-center dialysis facility or perform it from the comfort of your own home. There are two types of dialysis: Hemodialysis and Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) .
A type of dialysis in which the patient’s blood is removed from the body and cleansed by a dialyzer, i.e., an artificial kidney. The patient’s blood travels through needles placed into a specially created blood vessel. Blood is passed through the dialyzer, cleansed, and then returned to the body.
A form of dialysis that uses the body’s own peritoneal cavity to hold dialysate fluid. The peritoneal membrane acts like a filter to allow toxins, excess chemicals, and fluid to move into dialysate. Peritoneal dialysis “exchanges” fresh dialysate for used dialysate, often several times a day. Exchanges can be done by the patient (see CAPD) or by a machine (see CCPD).
For most people, either form of dialysis will work well. There may be medical reasons why one therapy is better for you than another. It’s not uncommon to start with one form of treatment and later on make a change to another.
Our staff works closely with patients to help them reach an informed decision about which treatment is best suited for their lifestyle. Kidney and Hypertension Specialists strive to deliver the best care, support, training and outcome possible.
Quality care is provided utilizing the most current technology. Patients are encouraged to learn about their disease and actively participate in their treatment. Training is available for the patient to learn care in the facility and at home.