What determines my need for dialysis?

Dialysis replaces some of the work done by healthy kidneys and is needed when your own kidneys can no longer take care of your body's needs.

You need dialysis when you develop kidney failure which occurs when you lose about 85% to 90% of your kidney function and have a glomerular filtration rate (GFR) of <15.

Dialysis is prescribed when other treatments for chronic kidney failure are insufficient (kidney transplant is another option at this stage), or if your kidneys have about 10%-15% of function remaining. In chronic kidney failure, your doctor may recommend dialysis when certain complications, such as low urine production or heart failure, develop. Dialysis may be a short- or long-term treatment, depending on the conditions that cause 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.