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For Patients & Families: Dialysis and Treatment

dialysis and treatment

about dialysis

overview and introduction

When a patient's kidneys are in a state of failure, they require some form of medical treatment to help their body complete the work their own kidneys can not perform on their own. Dialysis is a common treatment option for such patients.


When a patient is treated using dialysis, a machine is used to perform some of the functions normally managed by a healthy kidney. This machine cleans and filters a patient's blood, removes extra fluid, and clears away the body's excess waste and build up.


There are two types of dialysis: 


  • Hemodialysis (HD). A treatment in which blood is removed from the body and filtered through a machine to remove waste, toxins and fluids.

  • Peritoneal Dialysis (PF). A treatment in which your blood is cleaned inside your body. In PD, patients undergo a small surgery to have a soft plastic tube called a catheter placed into the abdomen (belly). The catheter makes it possible for a patient to easily connect to a special tubing, which allows PD treatments to be performed. During the treatment, a fluid called dialysate is put into the belly through a permanent catheter.  The fluid is left inside the body for a period of time, pulling waste through the belly lining.  Then, the fluid and the waste are removed through the catheter, and disposed of.


types of dialysis

learn how treatment works