What is dialysis?
Dialysis is a treatment that does the work of a healthy kidney. Namely, it's used to remove waste, salt and extra water so they don't build up in the body. It also helps control blood pressure and keeps a safe level of potassium, sodium and other chemicals in your blood.
When is dialysis needed?
Dialysis is needed when your kidney function is less than 10-15%. This is when your kidneys can no longer take care of your body's needs.
What does dialysis look like?
There are two types of dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis
In hemodialysis, an artificial kidney (called a hemodialyzer) is used to remove waste and extra chemicals and fluid from your blood. Hemodialysis treatments typically last about four hours and are done three times a week.
In this type of dialysis, your blood is cleaned inside your body through a catheter inserted into your abdomen. During the treatment, your abdominal area (called the peritoneal cavity) is slowly filled with a solution known as dialysate that filters out extra fluid and waste products. Peritoneal dialysis can usually be done at home, in some cases at night while you sleep.