Hemodialysis is most often done in a dialysis center by a staff of nurses and trained technicians, who will care for you and a number of other patients at the same time. In-center hemodialysis can be done in two ways: during the day (three times a week for 3–5 hours each session) or at night for 8 hours while you sleep, usually three times a week.
Other than the time constraints, in-center hemodialysis should not stop you from doing all or most of what you want to do. You can travel—with advance planning to find a facility where you’re going. With your doctor’s okay, you can play sports and pursue hobbies. You can work full- or part-time.
There are some things that will be limited if you are on in-center hemodialysis. You’ll need to protect your access—with a catheter, you won’t be able to swim and may not be able to shower. To protect a fistula or graft, keep it clean and avoid squeezing it with tight elastic sleeves, a tight watch, or by carrying heavy items across it. You’ll also need to follow diet and fluid limits. These will vary depending on whether you do daytime treatments or overnight treatments.
Do You Have Questions About Your Treatment Options?
Fresenius Medical Care's Treatment Options Program (TOPs) offers classes to help you make the right decisions for your health and lifestyle.