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Dialysis

When the kidneys cease working correctly, dialysis is used to eliminate waste products and excess fluid from the blood. It frequently entails redirecting blood to a machine for cleaning. Normally, the kidneys filter the blood, eliminating hazardous waste materials and excess fluid and converting them to urine, which is then excreted from the body.

Why do I require dialysis?

If your kidneys aren't performing correctly, such as if you have severe chronic renal disease (kidney failure), your kidneys may be unable to clear your blood effectively.

In your body, waste materials and fluids can accumulate to harmful proportions. If left untreated, this can lead to a variety of unpleasant symptoms and, in the worst-case scenario, death.

How long will I require dialysis?

It is conditional. In certain circumstances, kidney failure is only a temporary issue, and dialysis may be discontinued once your kidneys recover.

However, renal failure frequently necessitates the need for a kidney transplant.

Because it is not usually possible to perform a kidney transplant immediately, dialysis may be required until a suitable donor kidney becomes available.

If a kidney transplant is not an option for you – for example, because you are too sick to undergo a big procedure – you may require dialysis for the remainder of your life.

Types of Dialysis

Dialysis is classified into two types: Haemodialysis and Peritoneal dialysis.

Haemodialysis

The most prevalent form of dialysis and the one most people are familiar with is haemodialysis.

A tube is linked to a needle in your arm during the process.

Blood flows via the tube and into an external machine, where it is filtered before being returned to the arm through another tube.

This is commonly done three times a week at dialysis centres, with each session lasting around four hours.

It is also possible to do it at home. Here are some examples of home dialysis schedules:

  • 4 hours each week, four times per week
  • 5 hours each week, 5 times per week
  • 6 days a week, 8 hours a night
Peritoneum

Instead of a machine, peritoneal dialysis uses the interior lining of your abdomen (the peritoneum) as a filter.

The peritoneum, like the kidneys, has hundreds of small blood arteries, making it a good filtration system.

Before beginning therapy, a small incision around your belly button is made, and a tiny tube called a catheter is placed through the incision and into the area within your abdomen (the peritoneal cavity). This is set to remain in place indefinitely.

The catheter is used to inject fluid into the peritoneal cavity. Waste materials and excess fluid are taken out of the blood as it travels through the blood vessels lining the peritoneal cavity and into the dialysis fluid.

After a few hours, the used fluid is emptied into a bag. After a few hours, the spent fluid is dumped into a bag and replenished with fresh fluid.

Changing the fluid generally takes 30 to 40 minutes and should be done at least four times each day.

This may be done by a machine overnight while you sleep if you wish.

Which form of dialysis is the most effective?

In many circumstances, you will be able to pick the sort of dialysis you want and where you will receive treatment.

For the most part, all strategies are equally successful, although each has advantages and disadvantages.

As an example:

You will have four treatment-free days each week with haemodialysis, but the treatment periods may be lengthier and you may need to attend the hospital each time you return home. haemodialysis - You'll require dialysis sessions more frequently than you would in a clinic, but you may design a treatment plan that fulfills your medical needs while still fitting into your schedule.

Peritoneal dialysis is simple to do at home and can even be done while you sleep.

Dialysis life

Many dialysis patients enjoy a high quality of life. With proper care and preventive measure, patient would be able to resume their normal routine and perform various activities like swimming, exercise, or driving.

Although dialysis can only partially compensate for renal function loss, most patients can stay on it for many years. Having malfunctioning kidneys may put a huge load on the body. This implies that patients, particularly the elderly and those with other health issues, can die while on dialysis if they do not receive a kidney transplant.

If you begin dialysis in your late twenties, you can expect to survive for up to 20 years or more. If you can select the type of dialysis you want, your care team will explore the benefits and drawbacks of each choice with you to help you make a decision.

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