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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dialysis

There are two types of dialysis available today - and both can help you live a healthier life without working kidneys.


Hemodialysis
Peritoneal

Something to remember: no decision is a final decision. Your dialysis needs may change as time goes by. And if you are already living with one type of dialysis, you may be a candidate for another and not know it. Talk to your doctor about any questions or concerns you have.

If you are able to make a dialysis treatment choice, you should weigh your options carefully. Give a lot of thought to your current lifestyle. You will want a dialysis treatment that disrupts your lifestyle as little as possible. This summary of the dialysis treatment options may help you decide.

Hemodialysis
Positives
Possible Negatives
Staff performs treatment (center)
Requires travel to a center
Regular contact with people in the center
Fixed treatment schedule
Three times per week
Requires a partner for home hemodialysis
No external access required
Permanent internal access
No equipment/supplies at home
Two needle sticks for each treatment
Travel not required for home hemodialysis
Diet and fluid restricted

Some risk of infection

Peritoneal Dialysis
Positives
Possible Negatives
Patient involved in self-care
Four exchanges per day
Control over schedule/freedom
Permanent external catheter
Once a month clinic visits
Some risk of infection
No needles
Potential weight gain
More steady physical condition
Supplies stored at home
Less restricted diet
Body image change

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