Dialysis is a treatment that replaces some of the functions that the healthy kidneys usually perform. Dialysis becomes necessary when your own kidneys can no longer remove wastes and extra water. Dialysis also help regulate chemicals in your body such as salt or sodium, potassium and bicarbonate.
Dialysis is usually recommended by the time you lose about 85 to 90 percent of your kidney function and have a GFR less than 15.
It is important to have a plan in place well before you reach a GFR less than 15. Your plan may include; transplant, dialysis, conservative or palliative care. Our nephrologists at San Antonio Kidney will ensure your plan is individualized and you receive the personalized kidney care and you need to prepare for the dialysis if that is option that is right for you.
There are two types of dialysis:
- Hemodialysis, an artificial kidney (hemodialyzer) is used to remove waste and extra chemicals and fluid from your blood. This treatment can be done in a dialysis clinic 3 times a week or it can be done at home for 5-6 days a week for a shorter period of time.
- Peritoneal Dialysis, is completed by using your peritoneal membrane in your own your body. During the treatment, your abdominal area (called the peritoneal cavity) is slowly filled with special fluid called dialysate through the catheter, and waste products and extra fluid are drawn out of your blood and into the dialysate. It is done at home usually while you are sleeping.