In a dialysis center, your hemodialysis treatments last from three to five hours and are typically performed three times per week. To do hemodialysis, you need to have an access, or entrance, into your bloodstream. A surgical procedure will be required to create your bloodstream access for dialysis.
This treatment cleans your blood while it's inside your body using your belly as a natural filter. Peritoneal dialysis requires minor surgery to place a plastic tube called a catheter into your belly to create an access. This form of dialysis can be done at home during the day or at night while you sleep. Using the catheter, you fill your abdominal area with a cleansing solution (dialysate) that draws the waste products out of your bloodstream. As you go about your usual activities, waste and fluid will flow into the dialysate. After you complete this process, you drain out the used dialysate and put in clean fluid. This process is called an exchange.
This type of dialysis is very similar to conventional hemodialysis performed in a dialysis center except the dialysis machine is located in your home. After you and a partner learn how to operate the system, you will perform treatments six times each week. Check-ups are required each month with your dialysis training nurse and nephrologist.
We encourage you to speak with your doctor and nurses about the benefits and risks of each dialysis option.