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What are the different types of peritoneal dialysis?

There are two major types of peritoneal dialysis: continuous ambulatory and continuous cycling. In continuous ambulatory methods, treatment is performed several times a day. If you choose a continuous cycling technique, you administer one long treatment at night and another one that lasts most of the day. You do not need to be hooked to a machine during the day for this type of treatment. Talk to your doctor about which method fits your healthcare needs and lifestyle.

The two main types of peritoneal dialysis are continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) and continuous cycling peritoneal dialysis (CCPD). People perform CAPD themselves by attaching a plastic bag filled with cleansing fluid to the tube in the abdomen and raising it to shoulder level. This causes the fluid to run into the abdomen. The bag is then unhooked or rolled up around the waist. In several hours, the fluid is drained out and thrown away. A fresh bag of fluid is then put into the abdomen to begin cleansing again. This is called an "exchange" and takes about 30-45 minutes. It is done 4 or 5 times a day. Between exchanges, the person can move around and perform daily activities.

In CCPD, a machine puts the cleansing fluid into the abdomen and drains it automatically. This is usually done at night during sleep.
The major types of peritoneal dialysis are:
  • Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD). With CAPD, you do the exchanges yourself 4-6 times a day.
  • Ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (APD). With APD, a machine called a cycler does the exchanges automatically once you have set up the equipment. APD can be done while you sleep. However, if you do APD, you may also need to do one or two exchanges yourself during the day to make sure enough wastes and extra fluid are being cleared from your blood.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.