Helping you live a better life on dialysis

Print Page

What Is Dialysis?

Dialysis is a life-sustaining process that cleans waste products from the blood, removes extra fluids, and controls the body’s chemistry when a person’s kidneys fail. Dialysis patients typically require treatment on an ongoing basis unless they receive a kidney transplant. There are several types dialysis. Read below to learn more about the different dialysis treatment options.

What Is Hemodialysis?

Hemodialysis removes extra fluid and wastes from your body by constantly moving your blood through an external filter. The filter, known as a dialyzer or artificial kidney, is used with a dialysis machine. The amount of blood circulating outside the body at any given time is less than half a pint.

What Is In-Center Hemodialysis?

In-center kidney dialysis patient with staff

Hemodialysis is most often done “in-center” at a dialysis facility staffed by highly trained nurses and patient care technicians who implement the hemodialysis process and monitor each patient throughout the treatment. Typically, in-center hemodialysis is conducted during the day, three times a week for three to five hours per session.

What Is In-Center Nocturnal Hemodialysis?

In-center nocturnal dialysis

In-center nocturnal, or night-time hemodialysis offers patients the option of receiving their dialysis treatments at night. Usually administered three times a week for eight hours while the patient sleeps, in-center nocturnal hemodialysis can greatly improve quality of life. Because treatments are at night, patients have their days free for full-time jobs, recreation and family activities. In addition, patients often report having more energy and better dialysis results.

What Is Home Hemodialysis?

Home Hemodialysis for kidney dialysis patients

An alternative to in-center hemodialysis, home hemodialysis enables patients to dialyze in the comfort of their own home. It can offer patients greater independence and flexibility in their dialysis treatment schedules.

Fresenius Medical Care delivers in-center training for home hemodialysis for both the patient and their primary caregiver. It also provides all necessary supplies and equipment.

The patient’s local Fresenius Medical Care facility closely monitors home hemodialysis patients, who come into the clinic once a month for routine testing and to meet with their healthcare team.

What Is Peritoneal Dialysis?

Peritoneal Dialysis for kidney dialysis patients

Peritoneal dialysis (PD) also filters the blood. But, instead of using an artificial kidney, PD uses the thin membrane (called the peritoneum) that lines your abdominal cavity. A large number of blood vessels exist just beneath the peritoneum. When a fluid called dialysate is introduced to the abdominal cavity, the chemical properties of the fluid draw toxins out of the blood vessels through the membrane, thus filtering the blood. When the filtering process is complete, the dialysate (along with the toxins) is pumped out of the abdominal cavity. To gain access to the cavity, a catheter (a flexible hollow tube) is surgically placed in the lower abdomen. There are two types of PD.

The most common PD treatment option is continuous cycling peritoneal dialysis (CCPD). During CCPD, a machine automatically fills and drains the dialysate from the patient’s abdomen. This process takes about 10 to 12 hours and is usually performed at night, while the patient sleeps.

The other type of PD is a non-mechanical treatment, called continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD), which gives patients total mobility and can be used at home, on the job or while traveling. It usually involves four short (half-hour) exchanges each day.