You can continue to work, travel, and enjoy life after you start dialysis, a treatment that allows many people with kidney failure to thrive for decades — as long as you’re devoted to your diet and treatment regimen. At Southern Kidney Specialists, with locations throughout Middle Tennessee, their team provides the medical care you need for dialysis treatment. To learn more, call Southern Kidney Specialists, or request an appointment online today.
When chronic kidney disease causes progressive damage to your kidneys, their ability to filter your blood gradually diminishes. As a result, excess fluids and toxic wastes accumulate in your body. You need to start dialysis to take over for your kidneys when they lose 85-90% of their function.
You can choose from two primary types of dialysis:
During hemodialysis, your blood is filtered through a machine called a dialyzer. If you choose hemodialysis, you begin with a procedure to create a permanent access site in your arm. Then that access is used to insert two needles for dialysis.
One needle is connected to a tube that carries your blood to the dialyzer. Your blood is filtered as it passes through the machine, then it returns to your body through a second tube attached to the other needle.
Peritoneal dialysis uses the tissues lining your abdomen to filter your blood. An access port is created in your abdomen so you can easily fill your abdomen with a liquid that takes the waste out of your blood. The liquid stays in your abdomen for about 30-40 minutes, and then you flush it out.
The patient always does peritoneal dialysis at home. You can do the fluid exchanges manually, cleansing your abdomen multiple times each day, or you can use a machine that automatically cycles the dialysate through your abdomen.
You can also perform your own hemodialysis with an in-home dialysis machine. There are three types of home-based hemodialysis. The type you use depends on the severity of your kidney disease and the type of machine you have in your home.
Following this schedule, you perform dialysis three times a week for at least three to four hours.
Some dialysis machines are designed for short daily treatments. You perform hemodialysis five to seven times a week, with each session lasting about two hours.
During this type of dialysis, you stay connected to the machine while you sleep. Your treatment should last at least six hours, and you should do the treatment six nights a week or every other night, depending on your physician's recommendation.
To learn more about your options for dialysis, call Southern Kidney Specialists, or request an appointment online today.