How long will I need to stay on dialysis?

Edtrina Moss
Ambulatory Care

The survival rate for an individual who requires dialysis treatments is highly individualized. There are many factors that determine the survival rate for dialysis. Primarily, the co-morbid conditions (other chronic illnesses) that exist are a major determinant. Also, the illness that led to chronic renal failure also determines the survival rate. For example, if your primary diagnosis is Type II Diabetes, it is extremely important to consistently manage your blood glucose levels within a normal range, follow dietary recommendations by the physician and nutritionist, exercise regularly, and have regular check-ups.

Individuals have been known to survive on dialysis for 25 years or more. The ideal treatment plan however is a kidney transplant. There is a misconception that dialysis is the cause of mortality. To the contrary, it is the complications that result from renal failure in addition to other co-morbid conditions that usually lead to death.

How long you stay on dialysis treatment depends on the type of kidney failure you have. If you have been diagnosed with acute kidney failure, which develops suddenly, toxins and fluids need to be removed from your blood immediately, and dialysis may be recommended. You will receive dialysis until your kidney function is restored to normal. Duration of treatment in these cases depends on the severity of your condition and the underlying disease causing acute kidney failure. If you have been diagnosed with advanced or permanent kidney failure, also referred to as chronic kidney failure, your dialysis treatment is probably long-term, but will help sustain your life and vastly improve your health.

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.