Dialysis is a treatment for people whose kidneys are failing. When you have kidney failure, your kidneys don’t filter blood the way they should. As a result, wastes and toxins build up in your bloodstream. Dialysis does the work of your kidneys, removing waste products and excess fluid from the blood.
There are two ways to get dialysis:
What is hemodialysis?
With hemodialysis, a machine removes blood from your body, filters it through a dialyzer (artificial kidney) and returns the cleaned blood to your body. This 3- to 5-hour process may take place in a hospital or a dialysis center three times a week.
What is peritoneal dialysis?
With peritoneal dialysis, tiny blood vessels inside the abdominal lining (peritoneum) filter blood through the aid of a dialysis solution. This solution is a type of cleansing liquid that contains water, salt and other additives.
Peritoneal dialysis takes place at home. There are two ways to do this treatment:
Automated peritoneal dialysis uses a machine called a cycler.
Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) takes place manually.