When your kidney function deteriorates to the point where it is unable to eliminate toxic wastes and fluids from your body you begin to develop symptoms of uremia. Early symptoms may be very subtle at first and can be minimized by patients. The potential to become seriously at this point is very high and the patient requires dialysis. Dialysis can be viewed as a permanent treatment for advanced kidney failure or as a bridge to transplantation. There are generally two types of dialysis, hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Hemodialysis can be performed either in a dialysis center or as a home therapy, while peritoneal dialysis is considered a home therapy. Both types of therapy are effective at removing waste products and excess fluids from the body. Hemodialysis filters the patient’s blood with the use of a machine which has a filter called a dialyzer. Blood is removed from the body and goes through the dialyzer which filters the blood. The purified blood is then returned to the body by the dialysis machine. In peritoneal dialysis you use your own membrane that lines your abdominal organs called the peritoneum as filter to filter your blood.
Please visit our resource center and contact our chronic kidney disease educators for further information.