Dialysis

Dialysis

Healthy kidneys remove waste from your blood and produce hormones your body needs. If your kidneys fail, you either need a kidney transplant or dialysis. Dialysis is a procedure that uses a machine to perform many of the functions of the kidney. Dialysis can help prevent problems resulting from kidney failure and it allows people with kidney failure to live productive lives. Dialysis filters your blood, and like a health kidney, removes waste from your blood. Patients using dialysis are also required to follow a strict diet in order to stay healthy. There are two types of dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. There are different advantages and disadvantages with both hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Talk to your doctor about which type of dialysis would work better for you.

Recently Answered

  • 1 Answer
    A
    You can travel while on dialysis. Dialysis centers are located in every part of the United States and in many foreign countries. The treatment is standardized, but you need to plan ahead by making an appointment for dialysis at another center before you go. The staff at your home center may help you make these appointments.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    Sexually active women who are on dialysis or have a kidney transplant, and have not undergone menopause, should use birth control to prevent pregnancy. Your healthcare provider can recommend the type of birth control that should be used.

    Many women with high blood pressure should not use oral contraceptives, since this type of medicine can raise blood pressure and increase the chance of blood clots. The diaphragm and condom are usually the recommended means of birth control, especially when used with spermicidal creams, foams, or jellies. Some types of intrauterine devices (IUDs) are also possible.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    There is an easy, secure way for your healthcare team to transfer your treatment records online if, for example, you're admitted to the hospital or if you need to relocate during an emergency evacuation. In 2009, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) created a centralized web-based data collection system called CROWNWeb to help reduce and eliminate treatment interruptions. This central system helps to streamline individual’s care regardless of the reason for changing dialysis centers. Your doctors and healthcare team can access up-to-date information about your dialysis so that you continue to receive appropriate care no matter where you are.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    Many people on dialysis can go back to work or school after they have gotten used to dialysis. After establishing a dialysis routine, many people have more energy and find that they are able to work around this new schedule. Some people even find creative ways to work remotely from dialysis with the use of a laptop or cell phone, depending on their field of expertise.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    If you’re having trouble sticking on your dialysis diet talk with a registered dietitian or a counselor which specializes in nutrition and food counseling. Diets for therapeutic purposes like dialysis by law must be reviewed and treated by licensed professionals like registered dieticians.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    If you are on dialysis, once you get used to the treatment, you should begin to feel better. The dialysis treatments will take over some of the work of your diseased kidneys and remove wastes and extra fluid from your body. This will improve many of your symptoms.  A successful kidney transplant may allow you to feel as close to the way you felt before you got kidney disease.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    If you are on dialysis, some changes in your body make it hard to become pregnant. For example, most women on dialysis have anemia (a low red blood cell count) and hormonal changes. This may keep these women from having regular menstrual periods.

    Women with kidney failure are usually advised against becoming pregnant. The rate of complications is very high. Risks to both the mother and developing fetus are high. If you are thinking of becoming pregnant, talk to your healthcare provider. If you become pregnant, you will need close medical supervision, changes in medicine and more dialysis.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    Information on over 5,600 US-based dialysis centers is available online through the Medicare website. To help you make choices about your care, you can compare different facilities side-by-side and evaluate each facility based upon clinic characteristics and quality measures. You can search for dialysis facilities by name or geographic proximity. After completing an initial facility comparison to determine which facilities best meet your needs -- such as the number of hemodialysis stations at a particular location and whether there are evening shifts available -- visit the facilities that you're most interested in. Talk to the staff and people receiving dialysis, as well as your doctor to ensure that this dialysis facility is a good fit for you. Information on over 5,600 US-based dialysis centers is available online through the Medicare website at www.medicare.gov
  • 1 Answer
    A
    In order to contribute to your dialysis treatment plan, you can be your own best advocate. Know what key questions to ask your doctor or other healthcare professionals. Take notes so that you can refer back to them later. Partner with your doctor and decide on a treatment plan together. Advocate for yourself and share how you're feeling.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    You as the person on dialysis have a great deal of control over your treatments. There is a bill of rights which includes receiving quality care, counseling about your medical information and an expectation of privacy. You also have responsibilities. Once you decide on a course of treatment, it's important to follow the recommendations of your healthcare team. If you decide to receive in-center dialysis, arrive on time so that you can receive the full treatment without delays.