What is dialysis?

When your kidneys fail, dialysis keeps your body in balance by:
  • Removing waste, salt and extra water to prevent them from building up in the body
  • Keeping a safe level of certain chemicals in your blood, such as potassium, sodium and bicarbonate
  • Helping to control blood pressure 
Kidney dialysis is the process of cleaning wastes from the blood artificially. Normally the kidneys clean the blood. If the kidneys fail, the blood must be cleaned artificially using special equipment. The two major forms of dialysis are hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.

Dialysis is a medical treatment that removes waste from the body when the kidneys are in failure. Normally, the kidneys remove waste and other fluids from the body. However, if your kidneys are not be functioning correctly and if other methods of controlling your symptoms related to kidney failure are insufficient, dialysis or a kidney transplant may be your only treatment options to survive. People are put on dialysis of they have only 10%-15% of kidney function remaining. There are two main types of dialysis treatment: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.

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.