what is dialysis treatment?

August 1, 2022

Dialysis treats kidney disease and failure and can help you continue to lead a comfortable and productive lifestyle. You can implement different kinds of dialysis depending on the severity of your condition, lifestyle and doctor’s recommendation.

How Does Dialysis Work?

Your kidneys filter waste, toxins and excess fluid out of your blood. When you have kidney failure, those harmful substances build up in your body and make you sick. Dialysis is an artificial method that mimics your kidneys filtering function by cycling your blood inside or outside your body, depending on your treatment method.

Dialysis does not cure kidney disease or failure but can prolong your life and improve your overall health, especially if you’re waiting for a kidney replacement.

Types of Dialysis

Hemodialysis: This process takes place externally. Your blood is drawn through a needle in your arm into an artificial kidney and cleaned of waste and toxins before being cycled back into your body. Hemodialysis takes three to five hours depending on your remaining kidney function, body size, fluid retention between treatments and waste in your blood. Hemodialysis is usually done three times a week in a hospital or dialysis center. You can also do home hemodialysis, which is usually shorter in time but requires more frequent sessions.

Peritoneal dialysis: Your blood is cleaned inside your body during peritoneal dialysis. A catheter is surgically implanted in your abdomen and then attached to a bag filled with dialysate during treatment. The dialysate is administered into your abdomen and draws toxins and waste from the blood vessels lining your stomach. After 60 to 90 minutes, the fluid is drained.

There are two types of peritoneal dialysis:

  • Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD): You manually administer dialysate to the catheter in your abdomen four to five times a day. You’ll leave the solution in your abdomen for a few hours and drain it.
  • Automated peritoneal dialysis (APD): A machine called a cycler completes the dialysate exchanges. The sessions last an hour to an hour and a half throughout the day and can be completed overnight.

Who Needs Dialysis?

You will likely need dialysis treatment if you have chronic kidney disease, end-stage kidney disease or end-stage renal disease, acute kidney injury, nephritis or nephrogenic systemic fibrosis. With most of those conditions, your kidneys no longer filter your blood properly, so dialysis is necessary to extract the toxins.

Other health conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes increase your risk of developing kidney disease. You should also monitor your blood sugar as it influences healthy kidney function.

Cost of Dialysis

This treatment is expensive but necessary for your long-term kidney health and overall well-being. The federal government can pay up to 80% of the costs associated with dialysis treatment for most patients. Some private insurance companies and Medicaid can also help cover the cost of dialysis. Talk with your insurance provider to determine your coverage options.

Renal Care at Embassy Healthcare

The dedicated Embassy Healthcare team offers renal care to those residents who require daily administration assistance. Our round-the-clock care team is available to ensure you receive the necessary support to help you manage your kidney health.

Call 216-378-2050 or contact us online to learn more about our renal care.