Treating kidney failure through dialysis

If the kidneys fail, it is possible to replace their function using dialysis, an artificial way of getting rid of toxins and managing fluid balance.

How a patient is feeling and blood tests determine when it is necessary to begin dialysis. Some patients do not need to start until some time - occasionally years - after diagnosis. But even if this is the case, they need to know in advance about the different options available, because they should have a choice about which method of dialysis they use.

There are two different kinds of dialysis - haemodialysis, where the blood is cleaned outside the body via a machine which is done often in a dialysis unit but can be done at home, and Peritoneal dialysis which is performed at home, where the cleaning is done inside the body. Occasionally, there may be medical reasons to prefer one sort of dialysis to another - this is something to discuss with your doctor.

The greatest advantage is that you feel so much better after two or three weeks of dialysis. The technology and jargon of dialysis soon becomes familiar. (M.J.P.)

Back to Dialysis