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Dialysis, Kidney Dialysis, Peritoneal Dialysis, Dialysis Machine Print E-mail

Dr. Kennedy Dialysis is the process of cleansing the blood by passing it through a special machine or through the abdominal cavity. Dialysis is necessary when the kidneys are not able to filter the blood. Dialysis allows patients with kidney failure a chance to live productive lives. There are two types of dialysis: hemodialysis (dialysis of the blood) and peritoneal dialysis (see below). Each type of dialysis has advantages and disadvantages. Patients can often choose the type of long term dialysis that best matches their needs.

In hemodialysis, excess water and waste products are removed when the kidneys are damaged, dysfunctional, or missing. Blood is drawn through an artery in the arm. From there blood is taken to the dialysis machine through plastic tubing. The dialysis machine itself can be thought of as an artificial kidney. Inside, it consists of plastic tubing which carries the blood to the dialyser, a bundle of hollow fibers that forms a semipermeable membrane for filtering out impurities. In the dialyser, blood is diffused reciprocally across the semipermeable membrane with a saline solution called dialysate which serves to absorb toxins and waste products. Once the dialysis process is complete, the cleansed blood is returned to the patient through a vein in the arm.

Most patients on dialysis are there due to kidney impairment. Most sessions take about four hours, and typically patients visit the clinic one to three times per week.

Peritoneal dialysis is a technique that uses the patient's own body tissues inside of the belly (abdominal cavity) to act as a dialyzing membrane. The intestines lie in the abdominal cavity, the space between the abdominal wall and the spine. A plastic tube called a dialysis catheter is placed through the abdominal wall into the abdominal cavity. A special fluid is then flushed into the abdominal cavity and washes around the intestines. The intestinal walls act as a dialyser membrane between this fluid and the blood stream. By using different types of solutions waste products and excess water can be removed from the body through this process.

The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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