What types of dialysis are there?

Dialysis is a way of cleaning your blood when your kidneys no longer can. It gets rid of your body's wastes, extra salt and water, and helps control your blood pressure.

There are two kinds of dialysis. In hemodialysis, blood is pumped through an artificial kidney machine, and returned to your body by tubes that connect you to the machine. In peritoneal dialysis, the lining of your own belly acts as a natural filter for removing wastes. You put in a cleansing fluid called dialysate, which is then drained from your belly in cycles.
Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Medicine

The two types of dialysis are hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. 

In hemodialysis an artificial kidney is used to filter the waste and remove excess fluid from your blood.  Your doctor will create an “access” from one of your blood vessel so your blood can be pumped through the artificial kidney. 

With peritoneal dialysis, your blood is filtered or cleaned inside your body.  Your doctor will place a catheter in your abdomen so a mixture, called “dialysate”, can flow into your peritoneal cavity and pull out the extra fluid and waste products.  There are two major types of peritoneal dialysis: continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis and continuous cycling peritoneal dialysis.    Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis is done without machines and continuous cycling peritoneal dialysis uses a special machine.  Both types of peritoneal dialysis can be done at home.  Talk to your doctor about which method is right for you.

There are two types of dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. In hemodialysis, the most common form of dialysis, blood is drawn from your body into what is called a dialyzer. This machine filters out all the toxins in your blood, then pumps the blood back into your body.

In peritoneal dialysis, a catheter is inserted into the abdominal wall, where the peritoneum, a membrane that covers the organs in the abdominal area, carries any waste substances found in the blood. A fluid called dialysate is then infused into the peritoneum, and waste is drained out. Pertoneal dialysis can be administered manually or by machine. Your doctor will be able to recommend which method is right for you.

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.