Understanding How the Dialysis Process Works


If you or a loved one is facing dialysis, the unknown can truly be terrifying. By doing a bit of simple research and keeping the lines of communication open with your health care team, you can put your fears to rest regarding this life-saving process. By visiting this two main dialysis provider’s websites, which can be accessed here at , patients can educate themselves on a variety of topics related to kidney disease and their dialysis options.

Dialysis is the process of removing toxins from the blood of patients who are suffering from acute or chronic kidney disease or kidney failure, also known as end-stage renal disease (ESRD). If you have been diagnosed with acute kidney disease, you will only need dialysis until your kidney issues are resolved. For patients suffering from chronic kidney disease that has resulted in kidney failure, dialysis is a must for survival. Fortunately, there are different types of dialysis to choose from, which can make life easier for you and your loved ones.

Hemodialysis is the most common and popular form of dialysis. This is the type of dialysis that is administered in hospitals and dialysis clinics. In this process, an access is surgically implanted or created in the patient. For a patient who must be put on dialysis immediately, access is obtain by temporarily inserting the output and return catheters in the main artery located in the thigh, much like a heart catheterization process. Once the patient is stable, surgery is then performed in which either a chest access or an access in the arm (known as an AV access or an AV Graft) is created. The AV access or the AV Graft are the two preferred methods of access when it comes to receiving dialysis treatments, simply because the dialysis treatments are more effective, and the risk of infection is greatly reduced. With a chest access, showering and swimming are off-limits, and even bathing in a tub can become a true challenge, as these activities increase the risk of infection if your chest access becomes wet.

Two other options that are available to the dialysis patient are at-home hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. With at-home hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis, the patient is able to perform dialysis at home, which increases the patient’s independence and freedom, and can even allow the patient to continue working and even go on vacation. With peritoneal dialysis, an access catheter is placed in the abdomen, and the lining of the stomach is used to filter the patient’s blood. A special solution is introduced into the abdomen via the catheter, and after a set amount of time, the solution is drained, and the process is repeated. This type of dialysis can be performed either during the day, as long as a clean, private area is available, or at night, which allows the patient to perform dialysis while sleeping. With both types of at-home dialysis, the necessary equipment is delivered to the patient’s home, and the patient and a trusted friend or family member is instructed on how to perform the procedure. For some patients, they can choose to receive hemodialysis in a clinical setting at night, which allows them to sleep during their treatment and gives them the freedom to go about their normal activities during the day.