To Know Your Treatment Options / What is Dialysis? / Types of Dialysis
- Your blood is pumped through a dialysis machine and a filter (dialyzer), through which waste and excess fluid is removed from the blood. Only one cup of blood is outside your body at any given time, and the blood is returned to your body by tubes that connect you to the machine.
- Hemodialysis can be done either at the clinic/hospital in the presence of healthcare providers (In-Center) or at home which requires special training.
- Watch the next video to see which types of hemodialysis can be performed from the comfort of your own home!
To read about the in-center hemodialysis units, click here.
Three types of hemodialysis can be performed at home:
- Conventional home hemodialysis
Done three times a week for three hours or longer each time.
- Short daily home hemodialysis
Done more frequently, usually 5 to 7 times a week for 2 hours. Since the dialysis is more often, less fluid is usually removed each time.
This reduces symptoms like headaches, nausea, cramping and feeling “washed out” after treatment.
- Nocturnal home hemodialysis
Long, slow treatments done at night while you sleep. You may do this kind of dialysis six nights a week or every other night. Treatments usually last about six to eight hours.
Home hemodialysis advantages
Home dialysis is a good option for individuals who would like to carry on working, at school or staying home with family. Training is required prior to starting home dialysis.
- More Leisure time (Doesn’t take away from family time, prayer time, more time to watch favorite TV shows etc.)
- Reduction in commuting costs (Saving on car gas, bus/taxi/Uber fare)
- Being more involved in treatment process (Feeling of having more control over health and health lifestyle, reducing fear and anxiety surrounding illness, more hands-on than in-center)
- These factors usually lead to better quality of life
- Only used at home, not used as clinic or hospital based dialysis
- Utilizes the inside lining of the belly as a natural filter
- A soft plastic tube (catheter) is placed inside the body, and it stays there. A sterile cleansing fluid is placed into the belly through the catheter. Waste and excess fluid in your blood pass from the blood through the lining of your abdominal wall and into the dialysis fluid. The fluid is then drained and discarded and the abdomen is refilled, called an exchange. Exchange may occur several times throughout the day. Alternatively, exchanges can be performed by a small machine at night, while you sleep.
It may be difficult to adjust to a new routine of dialysis treatments. However, dialysis is not the only treatment option available to you. An alternative option is kidney transplantation.
We will take you step by step through the kidney transplant process starting with Step 1: Making an Informed Decision
Learning more about your different options and the process will ultimately help you become more comfortable when making your decision.