Planning for Dialysis
Learn information and tips that can help you prepare for dialysis
Beginning dialysis can feel like a whirlwind. It might be helpful to know that you can start to prepare for dialysis long before you need it. Planning for dialysis can include:
- Choosing a treatment option and access site, with the help of your nephrologist.
- Making lifestyle changes that can help you feel better.
- Learning about Fresenius Medical Care services.
Other things to consider when planning for dialysis
- Choose a type of treatment you can stick with. Whatever treatment you choose, your chance for a longer life is higher if you follow the treatment plan outlined by your healthcare team.
- The more time you spend on dialysis, the “cleaner” and closer to normal your blood gets. That’s why people who dialyze through the night or longer during the day tend to do better.
- You can change treatments. While not everyone can do every treatment people change their treatment approach all the time. Just keep in mind that your clinic might not have each option. Fresenius Medical Care can help you find a clinic that has the treatment you want to do.
- Medicare pays for home dialysis. Some people think that if they want to do dialysis at home, they have to buy the machine. Not true! Medicare pays 80% for home treatment, just as it pays for in-center care. You’ll still need a health plan to pay for the other 20%.
- In-center treatment is a safety net for you. Even if you do choose to go home, in-center care is always there for you as a back up. It’s good to know!
Every type of dialysis requires an access. It is the point on the body where a needle or catheter is inserted. Planning for the placement of an access site for dialysis prior to kidney failure will give you more options to choose from.
Your dialysis access is your lifeline—when you choose a good access and take care of it, you can feel your best and do things you enjoy.
The type of access you use depends on whether you choose hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis. If you are planning to choose hemodialysis, a vascular access should be prepared weeks or months before you start dialysis. The early preparation of the vascular access will allow easier and more efficient removal and replacement of your blood with fewer complications.
If you are currently on dialysis and have a catheter, it is not too late to talk with your doctor about getting a safer access.
Which treatment option is right for you?
Use the Treatment Options Comparison Chart to find the best
fit for you.
Living with kidney failure
There’s a lot for you to learn to maintain your health while you are on dialysis. To get a head start, explore the Healthy Lifestyles section of this site. You will learn about managing your diet and understanding nutrients and find dialysis-friendly recipes. You can also get inspired by reading success stories of others on dialysis and meet our “Champions in Motion,” These active men and women will help you realize that an active life is possible, even when your kidneys fail.
Ready for treatment
Content developed with the help of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.