Dialysis is a treatment that does some of the functions done by healthy kidneys. It is needed when your own kidneys can no longer take care of your body's needs.
Dialysis is a way to pump your blood through a machine that filters out the waste and returns the blood to your body.
When is dialysis needed?
You need dialysis when you develop end stage kidney failure usually by the time you lose about 85 to 90 percent of your kidney function.
What does dialysis do?
Like healthy kidneys, dialysis keeps your body in balance. Dialysis does the following:
What are the types of dialysis?
The 2 types of dialysis are hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis
In hemodialysis, an artificial kidney (hemodialyzer) is used to remove waste and extra
chemicals and fluid from your blood. To get your blood into the artificial kidney, the
doctor needs to make an access (entrance) into your blood vessels. This is done by minor
surgery to your arm or leg.
Sometimes, an access is made by joining an artery to a vein under your skin to make a bigger blood vessel called a fistula.
However, if your blood vessels are not adequate for a fistula, the doctor may use a soft plastic tube to join an artery and a vein under your skin. This is called a graft. Occasionally, an access is made by means of a narrow plastic tube, called a catheter, which is inserted into a large vein in your neck. This type of access may be temporary, but is sometimes used for long-term treatment.
Usually, each hemodialysis treatment lasts about four hours and is done three times per week.
In this type of dialysis, blood is cleaned inside the body. The doctor will do surgery to place a plastic tube called a catheter into your abdomen (belly) to make an access. During the treatment, your abdominal area (called the peritoneal cavity) is slowly filled with dialysate through the catheter. The blood stays in the arteries and veins that line your peritoneal cavity. Extra fluid and waste products are drawn out of your blood and into the dialysate.