Advertisement

How long does peritoneal dialysis take?

A session of peritoneal dialysis can take several hours or can last overnight, depending on the way it's done. Peritoneal dialysis is an alternative to the kind of dialysis most people are familiar with -- hemodialysis, in which blood is run from a patient through a dialysis machine that removes wastes and liquid. Either kind of dialysis keeps the blood clean when the kidneys fail.

Peritoneal dialysis uses a solution that contains dextrose (or another sugar), salt and minerals dissolved in water. A catheter (soft tube) fills the abdomen with the solution. The solution mixes with wastes, salt and liquid, and all are removed when the solution drains out. This filling and removal process is called an exchange. It can be done as continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) or continuous cycling peritoneal dialysis (CCPD).

CAPD is done without machines. Four or five times a day, the peritoneal dialysis solution is put into your abdomen through the catheter and then drained out four or five hours later. Each drain and fill requires about 30 to 40 minutes. During CAPD, you can go about your usual activities at work, school or home.

CCPD is done with a machine called a cycler. You connect the machine to the catheter, and it fills and drains your abdomen in 90-minute cycles over the course of the night as you sleep. There is no need to perform an exchange during the day if you do this type of peritoneal dialysis.

Continue Learning about Dialysis

What are the most common side effects of dialysis?
National Kidney FoundationNational Kidney Foundation
Many people on dialysis experience side effects of treatment. The most common side effects are: ...
More Answers
How does phosphorus affect people on dialysis?
Methodist Specialty and Transplant HospitalMethodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital
When people are on dialysis phosphorus can build up in the blood because the kidneys no longer work ...
More Answers
Can a psychologist help a patient who is new to dialysis?
Deborah Serani, PsyDDeborah Serani, PsyD
Dialysis is a life sustaining procedure, that requires three long sessions each week. Dialization us...
More Answers
When would I need dialysis?
National Kidney FoundationNational Kidney Foundation
You need dialysis if your kidneys no longer remove enough wastes and fluid from your blood to keep y...
More Answers

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.