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What Happens In Kidney Dialysis

What Are The Treatment Options For Kidney Failure

FIRST 30: Advice When Starting Dialysis

If you have kidney failure , you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant to live. There is no cure for ESRD, but many people live long lives while on dialysis or after having a kidney transplant.

There are just a few options for treating kidney failure, including kidney transplant and several types of dialysis. Your doctor can help you figure out which treatment is best for you. Learn more about the treatment options for kidney failure.

What Do The Kidneys Do

Your kidneys are part of your urinary system. These two bean-shaped organs sit below your ribcage on each side of your spine. They clean toxins from your blood, returning filtered, nutrient-rich blood to the bloodstream.

The waste and extra water make urine, which moves from the kidneys into the bladder. Your kidneys also help regulate your blood pressure.

How Long Can You Live On Dialysis

If your kidneys have failed, you will need to have dialysis treatments for your whole life unless you are able to get a kidney transplant.; Life expectancy on dialysis can vary depending on your other medical conditions and how well you follow your treatment plan. Average life expectancy on dialysis is 5-10 years, however, many patients have lived well on dialysis for 20 or even 30 years. Talk to your healthcare team about how to take care of yourself and stay healthy on dialysis.

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Comparing Hemodialysis With Peritoneal Dialysis

When the kidneys fail, waste products and excess water can be removed from the blood by hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis.

In hemodialysis, blood is removed from the body into a dialyzer , which filters the blood. An artificial connection between an artery and a vein is made to facilitate the removal of blood.

In peritoneal dialysis, the peritoneum is used as a filter. The peritoneum is a membrane that lines the abdomen and covers the abdominal organs, creating a space within the abdomen called the peritoneal space or abdominal cavity.

What Will Happen If You Don’t Start Dialysis


If you don’t have dialysis, your kidneys will continue to fail and you eventually will die. How long you could live depends on your overall health aside from your kidney disease and how much kidney function you have left.

As death nears, you will start to:

  • Feel sleepy and weak. You may sleep more and need help to walk, bathe, and use the toilet.
  • Be less hungry. You may eat and drink less than normal.
  • Lose interest in daily life. You may lose interest in the outside world and the details of daily life, including the day or time.

If you don’t have dialysis, health professionals who provide end-of-life care can help you have the highest quality of life possible. This may be done through hospice care. Hospice offers the chance to think about personal goals, relieve pain, and take care of your emotional and spiritual needs.

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Kidney Today: Was Your Home Affected By The Floods

Ariel: Yes, my home was flooded, and right now Im not able to live there because of the mold and the bad smell. I actually was not expecting my apartment to get flooded because the area that I live in does not typically flood. I had to leave and go to a friends house. I was thankful that I didnt have to go to a shelter.

I Do Not Want Dialysis: How Long Can I Expect To Live And How Would I Feel

  • Get link
  • How would I feel if I refuse dialysis?
  • Would my life span be shortened if I refuse dialysis?

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Image courtesy of bejim/


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Does Dialysis Replace The Kidneys

Dialysis helps patients whose kidneys have failed, but it is not as efficient as a normal kidney. Patients who receive dialysis need to be careful about what and how much they drink and eat, and they need to take medication.

Many people who have dialysis can work, lead normal lives, and travel, as long as dialysis treatment is possible at the destination.

Women who have dialysis normally have difficulty becoming pregnant. There will be a higher level of waste products in the body than there are with normal kidneys. This interferes with fertility.

Women who do become pregnant while on dialysis will probably need increased dialysis during the pregnancy. If a woman has a successful kidney transplant, her fertility should return to normal.

Dialysis has some effect on male fertility, but less than on female fertility.

Chronic kidney failure happens gradually. Even if just one kidney works, or both work partially, normal kidney function is still possible. It can be a long time before the symptoms of a kidney condition appear.

When symptoms do occur, they often vary between individuals, making it harder to diagnose kidney failure quickly.

Symptoms of kidney failure may include:

  • Water retention, leading to swollen feet, hands, and ankles
  • Blood in urine
  • Protein in urine

A sudden injury can cause kidney failure. When it does, symptoms tend to appear faster and progress more rapidly.

People who depend on kidney dialysis may experience:

What Happens Before Hemodialysis

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Before you start hemodialysis, youll undergo a minor surgical procedure to make it easier to access the bloodstream. You may have:

  • Arteriovenous fistula : A surgeon connects an artery and vein in your arm.
  • Arteriovenous graft : If the artery and vein are too short to connect, your surgeon will use a graft to connect the artery and vein.

AV fistulas and grafts enlarge the connected artery and vein, which makes dialysis access easier. They also help blood flow in and out of your body faster.

If dialysis needs to happen quickly, your provider may place a catheter into a vein in your neck, chest or leg for temporary access.

Your provider will teach you how to prevent infections in your fistula or graft. This provider will also show you how to do hemodialysis at home if you choose to do so.

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How Long You’ll Need To Be On Dialysis

If you choose to go on dialysis, it usually is performed for the rest of your life up until the point you receive a transplant. If you decide dialysis isn’t the right option for you, you may elect for comprehensive conservative care.

While you’re on dialysis, it’s an ongoing process, and it’s important that you don’t miss a session. This may mean that you have to make adjustments to your work and home life, although there are home treatments available.

Personal Stories About Considering Starting Dialysis

These stories are based on information gathered from health professionals and consumers. They may be helpful as you make important health decisions.

I want to have dialysis, because I’m not ready to die. I still feel young. I have a lot of things I still want to do with my life. I want to work on my craft projects and spend more time with my grandchildren.

Teresa, age 60

I have other bad health problems. I’ve had heart attacks, and I also have heart failure. I don’t think dialysis will give me much more time. I feel like I’ve had a good life. I’m ready to go whenever it’s my time.

Stan, age 72

I know I’ll spend a lot of time at dialysis. But I can read there. And I love writing letters to family and friends. My partner can drop by sometimes and spend some time with me, and maybe I can make some friends at the dialysis center.

Raul, age 62

I want to spend the time I have left with my family, not having dialysis. My daughter said I can come live with her, so I can spend more time with her and her husband.

Helen, age 83

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What Are The Basics About Kidney Transplant

Kidney transplant is surgery to place a healthy donor kidney into your body. A working, transplanted kidney does a better job filtering wastes and keeping you healthy than dialysis, but it still isnt a cure.

When you have a transplant, surgeons usually leave your old kidneys in place and connect the donated kidney to an artery and a vein in your groin. The surgeon also transplants the ureter from the donor to let urine flow from your new kidney into your bladder. The transplanted kidney takes over the job of filtering your blood.

Your body normally attacks anything it sees as foreign, so to keep your body from attacking the donor kidney, you will need to take immunosuppressants also called anti-rejection medicines. Like all strong medicines, anti-rejection medicines have side effects.

A transplant center can place you on the waiting list for a donor kidney if you have permanent kidney damage and your kidney function is 20 or less. While youre waiting for a kidney transplant, you may need to start dialysis.

How Does Peritoneal Dialysis Work

Patients Have No Bowel Movement after Dialysis in Kidney ...

It uses the lining of your belly to filter your blood. A few weeks before you start treatment, a catheter is placed near your navel. Once the area heals, youâll be trained on how to do PD since youâll be doing it yourself.

Youâll use the catheter to transfer dialysis solution from a bag into your belly. This special fluid contains water with salt and other additives. It soaks up waste and extra fluids inside your body. After a few hours, youâll drain it out into a separate bag. This process is called an âexchange.â

There are two kinds of PD:

Continuous cycling peritoneal dialysis : This uses a machine to do your exchanges.

Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis : Youâll do your exchanges by hand.

Youâll likely do four to six exchanges each day. Your doctor can help you decide which type fits your lifestyle. Some people do both.

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When Do I Have To Start Dialysis

For most people, the need for dialysis comes on slowly. Symptoms, such as losing your desire to eat and losing muscle, may begin so slowly that you dont notice them. Many people start dialysis when their kidney function is between 5 and 10. When kidney function is this low, you may have symptoms from kidney failure and starting dialysis may help relieve them. Starting dialysis can help you regain your appetite and maintain your strength, which is harder to rebuild than it is to retain. Your health care provider can help you decide the best time to begin treatment.

What Causes Kidney Failure

In most cases, kidney failure is caused by other health problems that have done permanent damage to your kidneys little by little, over time.

When your kidneys are damaged, they may not work as well as they should. If the damage to your kidneys continues to get worse and your kidneys are less and less able to do their job, you have chronic kidney disease. Kidney failure is the last stage of chronic kidney disease. This is why kidney failure is also called end-stage renal disease, or ESRD for short.

Diabetes is the most common cause of ESRD. High blood pressure is the second most common cause of ESRD. Other problems that can cause kidney failure include:

Sometimes the kidneys can stop working very suddenly . This type of kidney failure is called acute kidney injury or acute renal failure. Common causes of acute renal failure include:

  • Heart attack
  • Illegal drug use and drug abuse
  • Not enough blood flowing to the kidneys
  • Urinary tract problems

This type of kidney failure is not always permanent. Your kidneys may go back to normal or almost normal with treatment and if you do not have other serious health problems.

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When Should I Leave My Home

The best practice is to stay at home except for essential medical appointments and treatments, such as dialysis. You may also have to leave your home for other health-related issues. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your healthcare provider immediately. If you have a medical emergency call 911.

In some areas, supermarkets are offering special shopping hours for senior citizens to shop without additional crowds in the store. This may be a good option for older adults if grocery delivery is not available. Check on local information about when to leave your home.

How Does Hemodialysis Work

Kidney Disease and Dialysis | Health | Biology | FuseSchool

First, youâll need minor surgery to create direct access to your bloodstream. This can be done in a few ways:

Fistula : An artery and vein are joined together under the skin in your arm. Most of the time, this is done in the one you donât write with. An A-V fistula needs 6 weeks or longer to heal before it can be used for hemodialysis. Then, it can be used for many years.

Graft : A plastic tube is used to join an artery and vein under your skin. This heals in only 2 weeks, so you can start hemodialysis faster. This wonât last as long as a fistula. Youâll likely need another graft after a few years.

The risk of infection is greater with a graft. Youâll also have to see your doctor more often so they can make sure the graft stays open.

Catheter : This method is an option if you need to start hemodialysis very quickly. A flexible tube is put into a vein in your neck, below your collarbone, or next to your groin. Itâs only meant to be used for a short time.

During hemodialysis, youâll sit or lie back in a chair. A tech will place two needles in your arm where the fistula or graft is located. A pump in the hemodialysis machine slowly draws out your blood, then sends it through another machine called a dialyzer. This works like a kidney and filters out extra salt, waste, and fluid. Your cleaned blood is sent back into your body through the second needle in your arm. Or, if thereâs a catheter, blood comes out of one port and then is returned via a second port.

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How Do I Adjust To Dialysis

Starting dialysis often means creating a new normal for yourself and your family. Thereâs a lot to think about, from choosing a treatment option, to finding new ways to enjoy your favorite activities, to managing a new diet. The FIRST30 program is all about helping you through this period of adjustment. Here, youâll find videos featuring people like you, who once were new to dialysis, as well as a checklist of important questions to ask your health care team.

How Long Do Hemodialysis Treatments Last

The time needed for your dialysis depends on:

  • how well your kidneys work
  • how much fluid weight you gain between treatments
  • how much waste you have in your body
  • how big you are
  • the type of artificial kidney used

Usually, each hemodialysis treatment lasts about four hours and is done three times per week.

A type of hemodialysis called high-flux dialysis may take less time. You can speak to your doctor to see if this is an appropriate treatment for you.

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Pros And Cons Of The Two Types

If dialysis is recommended for you, you’ll often be able to choose whether to have haemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis.

Both methods of dialysis are equally effective for most people,;so it’s usually a case of personal preference.

However, there may be some situations where a particular type of dialysis is best. For example, peritoneal dialysis may be recommended for:

  • children aged 2;or;younger
  • people who still have some limited kidney function
  • adults who don’t have other serious health conditions, such as;heart disease or;cancer

Haemodialysis may be recommended for people who are unable to carry out peritoneal dialysis themselves, such as those who are visually impaired, have dementia or are in;a poor state of health.

Any decision you make about which procedure to have will not be final. It’s;possible to move from one to the other. You can read about some of the main advantages and disadvantages of each technique below.

Risks Associated With Hemodialysis

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If you continue to have these symptoms while on dialysis, tell the healthcare provider performing the treatment.

Those who undergo long-term dialysis treatments are also at risk of developing other medical conditions, including amyloidosis. This disease can occur when amyloid proteins produced in bone marrow build up in organs such as the kidneys, liver, and heart. This usually causes joint pain, stiffness, and swelling.

Some people may also develop depression after receiving a diagnosis of long-term kidney failure. If youre having thoughts associated with depression, such as thoughts of harming yourself or committing suicide, call 911 or your local emergency services. The National Alliance on Mental Illness can also provide you with resources if youre dealing with depression and a chronic condition.

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