Does dialysis cure kidney failure?

Dialysis cannot cure kidney failure, but in some cases of sudden or acute kidney failure, dialysis may only be needed for a short time until the kidneys get better. However, when chronic kidney disease progresses to kidney failure over time, your kidneys do not get better. In such cases, you will need dialysis for the rest of your life unless you are able to receive a kidney transplant.
Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Medicine

Dialysis does take on some of the job of a healthy kidney but cannot cure kidney disease.  If you have end stage renal failure you will need dialysis treatment for the rest of our life unless you receive a kidney transplant.


Dialysis does not cure kidney failure, but in certain cases it may reverse this condition and restore normal kidney function. There are two types of kidney failure: acute and chronic. Acute kidney failure develops suddenly and is usually the result of another underlying disease. Dialysis can be used to treat acute kidney failure until normal kidney function is restored. In this case, the kidney failure is reversible.

Another type of kidney failure, chronic kidney failure, develops over a long period of time, even years. This type of kidney failure is usually advanced and permanent, and dialysis is recommended when only 10%-15% of kidney function remains. In this case, dialysis is most likely a long-term treatment and cannot reverse kidney failure.

Continue Learning about 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.

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.