Dialysis is a treatment that takes over the job of your kidneys if they
. The kidneys have many functions that help your body stay healthy. They help clear toxins out of your blood and help your body balance salt levels. Most patients begin dialysis when their kidneys have lost 85%-90% of their ability. You may be on dialysis for a short time, or you may need it for the rest of your life (or until you receive a kidney transplant), depending on the reason for your kidney failure.
If you have kidneys that are not working and the damage is not reversible, you have end-stage renal disease (ESRD). ESRD is caused by conditions such as diabetes,
kidney cancer, drug use,
high blood pressure, or other kidney problems. Dialysis is not a cure for ESRD, but it does help you feel better and live longer.
There are two types of dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. This fact sheet will focus on peritoneal dialysis.
Reasons for Procedure
The main functions of peritoneal dialysis are to:
Remove waste and excess fluid from your blood
Control blood pressure
Keep a safe level of salts in the body, such as potassium, sodium, and chloride
Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have peritoneal dialysis, your doctor will review a list of possible complications. These may include:
Diverticulitis—an infection of a pouch that forms in the wall of the large intestine
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
Before the first treatment, a small, soft tube (approximately 24 inches long) will be placed in the abdomen. This tube will remain there permanently. A portion of the tube remains outside the body for use in the process. It is important to keep this access clean and dry to prevent infection.
Description of the Procedure
Peritoneal dialysis can often be done at home.
The abdominal lining is called the peritoneal membrane. It is used to filter blood. A cleansing solution, called a dialysate, is inserted into your abdominal cavity through a tube. Fluid, wastes, and chemicals pass from the tiny blood vessels in the peritoneal membrane into the dialysate. The dialysate is drained after several hours. New dialysate can be added to repeat the process.
There are three types of peritoneal dialysis:
Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD)—This is the most common type of peritoneal dialysis. A bag of dialysate is infused into the abdomen through a tube called a catheter. It remains there for 3-6 hours and is drained. The abdomen is refilled with fresh solution. This way, your blood is always being cleaned.
Continuous cyclical peritoneal dialysis (CCPD)—Infusing and refilling the abdomen with dialysate is done by machine. It is done at night while you are sleeping.
Intermittent peritoneal dialysis (IPD)—This uses the same type of machine as CCPD. It requires assistance and is usually done at a hospital or center. It often takes longer than CCPD.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a