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Kidney dialysis
Nephrology

Kidney dialysis

What is kidney dialysis?

Dialysis is a treatment for persons with failing kidneys. If kidneys don't filter blood, wastes and poisons accumulate in your bloodstream. Dialysis helps your kidneys do their job by eliminating waste materials and extra fluid from your blood.

Who are the candidates for kidney dialysis?

Dialysis may be required for those who have kidney failure or end-stage renal disease. Kidney disease is caused by injuries and diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and lupus.Kidney failure can be a chronic disorder or it can strike quickly (acutely) as a result of a serious sickness or accident. 

End-stage renal disease (ESRD) or kidney failure is considered stage 5 kidney disease by healthcare practitioners. The kidneys are only doing about 10% to 15% of their usual function at this point. To stay alive, you may need dialysis or a kidney transplant. While waiting for a transplant, some people go through dialysis.

What are the types of dialysis?

There are two types of dialysis; hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Your doctor will recommend the type of dialysis that is required for you depending on your health condition. 

Hemodialysis is the most commonly performed dialysis procedure in which your blood will be run through a dialysis machine by connecting your blood vessels of your arm to the machine. The blood will be filtered in the machine, hence excess fluids and harmful substances will be removed out of the body. The filtered blood will be returned back to your body. Hemodialysis is usually carried out at dialysis centres for 3 days a week with each session lasting for about 4 hours.

In peritoneal dialysis, a peritoneal catheter is used to run the blood through the blood vessels of the peritoneal cavity to filter the blood. In this type of dialysis, blood never leaves the body and uses the body's natural filter to clean the blood. In both types, a dialysate solution is used to perform the procedure.

How does dialysis work?

Dialysis purifies your blood by filtering toxins, waste, and fluid through a semipermeable membrane. The two types of dialysis, hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis, filter blood in distinct ways. The filtering membrane used in hemodialysis is known as a dialyzer and is housed inside a dialysis machine. Your blood is cleaned and cycled through the dialysis machine before returning to your body. The filtering membrane in peritoneal dialysis is the natural lining of your peritoneum or belly, and blood is never removed from your body. In the filtering process, both types of dialysis use a dialysate solution to remove undesired substances from your bloodstream.

How long will you need dialysis for?

Kidney dialysis may be performed when you have a temporary kidney failure and the dialysis is usually stopped when the kidney recovers. But, mostly the kidney failure will be a permanent condition requiring a kidney transplant to treat the disease. However, a kidney transplant is not always possible to carry out immediately. So dialysis may be required as a temporary solution until a suitable donor kidney becomes available. And it is possible to lead a good quality of life when you are on dialysis and most people can hold out on dialysis for many years. Some of the conditions like advanced age, severe heart disease, cancer, mental illness, alcohol or drug abuse will make you ineligible for the kidney transplant. In such situations, kidney dialysis may be required for the rest of your life. 

How does dialysis work?

Dialysis purifies your blood by filtering toxins, waste, and fluid through a semipermeable membrane. The two types of dialysis, hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis, filter blood in distinct ways. The filtering membrane used in hemodialysis is known as a dialyzer and is housed inside a dialysis machine. Your blood is cleaned and cycled through the dialysis machine before returning to your body. The filtering membrane in peritoneal dialysis is the natural lining of your peritoneum or belly, and blood is never removed from your body. In the filtering process, both types of dialysis use a dialysate solution to remove undesired substances from your bloodstream.

What should I do for pre-dialysis care?

A person needs vascular access to their bloodstream before they can start hemodialysis treatment. The access permits the patient's blood to flow at a high volume and speed to and from the dialysis machine, allowing toxins, waste, and excess fluid to be removed from the body.

What should I do for post dialysis care?

  • For several hours following dialysis, keep a close eye on the patient for any treatment-related side effects.
  • Hypotension, headaches, nausea, lethargy, vomiting, dizziness, and muscle cramps are all common symptoms.
  • Take your vital signs and weigh yourself to compare to your pre-dialysis measures.
  • As a result of the fluid clearance, blood pressure and weight are projected to drop.

Kidney dialysis - FAQs

1) How long can you survive on dialysis?

On dialysis, the average life expectancy is 5-10 years; nevertheless, numerous patients have survived for 20 or even 30 years

2) Are there different kinds of dialysis?

Hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis are the two forms of dialysis.

3) Will I require dialysis if I have kidney disease?

Early stages of CKD can linger for years without requiring dialysis. However, if your kidneys fail, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant to stay alive.

4) Is it possible to do dialysis for the rest of my life?

Yes, some patients have been on dialysis for more than 30 years and have yet to receive a transplant. How long you can live on dialysis and how well you do depends on a lot of factors, including your health, attitude, healthcare quality, and how involved you are in your treatment.

5) How frequently will I need to receive treatments?

Three times a week is the standard schedule for in-center hemodialysis treatments. Each treatment will most likely take place in the morning or afternoon. The length of your treatment is determined by the prescription. The average time is three to four hours.

6) How much does the procedure cost?

INR 1000 to INR 1500 per session.

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