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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

How will I pay for my dialysis?
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Dialysis is expensive. However, the federal government's Medicare program pays 80% of all dialysis c...
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Can I go back on dialysis if I change my mind after stopping treatment?
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Will I need to speak to a psychiatrist if I want to stop dialysis?
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How should I prepare for dialysis?
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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.