Dialysis does the work of the kidneys when they fail. It is not a cure. But, it will help you feel better and live longer. Dialysis is done for life unless a kidney transplant can be done.
There are 2 main types of dialysis:
Hemodialysis is done with a machine. Blood leaves the body through tubes placed into a vein. The machine filters the blood with a special solution. Clean blood is sent back to the body.
Vascular access allows blood to move between the body and the machine. Minor surgery is needed to make the connection. There are 3 types:
Hemodialysis is done at a special center or at home. The number of days a week and hours needed is different for each person. Hemodialysis at home must be done more often and for more hours.
Some problems are:
This method uses the lining of the belly to filter blood. A special solution is placed through a tube that goes into the belly. Fluids, wastes, and chemicals pass out of the lining and into the solution. The solution is then drained from the belly. Surgery may be needed to place a port for long-term peritoneal dialysis.
There are 3 main types:
Some problems are:
Dialysis for end-stage renal disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/management/dialysis-for-end-stage-renal-disease-13. Updated January 31, 2019. Accessed July 18, 2019.
Hemodialysis. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/kidney-failure/hemodialysis. Updated January 2018. Accessed July 18, 2019.
Murphree DD, Thelen SM. Chronic kidney disease in primary care. J Am Board Fam Med. 2010;23(4):542-550.
O'Connor NR, Corcoran AM. End-stage renal disease: symptom management and advance care planning. Am Fam Physician. 2012;85(7):705-710.
Peritoneal dialysis. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/kidney-failure/peritoneal-dialysis. Updated January 2018. Accessed July 18, 2019.
Peritoneal dialysis for end-stage renal disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/management/peritoneal-dialysis-for-end-stage-renal-disease. Updated June 10, 2019. Accessed July 18, 2019.
Vascular access for hemodialysis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/procedure/vascular-access-for-hemodialysis. Updated January 31, 2019. Accessed July 18, 2019.
Last reviewed July 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD Last Updated: 10/4/2019