Are You Aware Of Dialysis and Its Types?

Medpho Team July 29, 2023

The kidney has several roles, including filtering waste products, excess water, and other impurities from the blood. Due to different medical conditions, the kidney cannot discard this excess impurity, and the waste products are artificially removed via the dialysis procedure. A healthy kidney also ensures the regulation of pH, salt, and potassium levels in the body. This blog covers all the information about dialysis and its types that can help you gain a better insight. 

When is Dialysis Suggested?

Dialysis is usually recommended or started when a sudden loss of kidney function is reported due to acute kidney injury or a gradual decline. It is also said that kidney disease has acquired its final stage. This end-stage chronic renal failure is a state when the glomerular filtration rate is only 10 to 15% of normal condition, and the creatinine clearance is reduced below 10 ml per minute.

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What is Dialysis?

Dialysis is performed using a machine that removes waste products from the body when the kidneys are no longer competent to execute this function. The dialysis removes excess water, solutes, and toxins from the blood in people whose kidneys can no longer serve these functions naturally. The procedure is also termed renal replacement therapy. Dialysis has its history, and the first successful dialysis was conducted in 1943; since then, there has been regular technological advancement. 

Dialysis is suggested only once the kidney has reached End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) or the last stage of Kidney disease. The treatment option of dialysis includes peritoneal dialysis, home hemodialysis, and nocturnal in-center treatment. There are various dialysis centers established across the nation, and over 90 percent of dialysis patients receive treatment at such centers.

Types of Dialysis

There are two main types of dialysis, specifically hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Each class has some advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your medical and lifestyle, your doctor suggests what could be the correct type of dialysis for you. To know more about dialysis type, speak to your doctor and understand the dialysis procedure step-by-step.

Dialysis ProcedureHemodialysis Procedure 

  • Hemodialysis is the most familiar type of dialysis.
  • The procedure uses an artificial kidney (hemodialyzer) to release waste and extra fluid from the blood.
  • Two needles are inserted into the arm, and then a flexible plastic tube connects to a dialyzer (a filter that cleans your blood).
  • The blood is dragged out of the body and purified through the artificial kidney (hemodialyzer).
  • Next, the filtered blood is again put back into the body with a dialysis apparatus. 
  • The doctor will perform surgery to create an entrance point (vascular access) into the blood vessels in this procedure.  
  • The three types of access points are the Arteriovenous (AV) fistula, AV graft and the Vascular access catheter.
  • All these three access is possible with the surgical procedure carried out by an expert nephrologist.
  • AV fistula and AV graft methods are accomplished for long-term dialysis treatments. Many individuals with AV fistulas are healed and ready to begin hemodialysis two to three months after surgery. Catheter access points are designed for short-term or temporary use.

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What are post Hemodialysis side effects?

Post hemodialysis, many individuals experience 

  • Low blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

Other side effects typically observed include.

  • Chest pain
  • Back pain
  • Headaches
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Muscle cramps
  • Even itchy skin.

Peritoneal Dialysis Procedure 

  • Peritoneal dialysis includes a remedy for kidney collapse.
  • The procedure uses the abdomen lining to filter blood inside a person's body. 
  • Doctors call this lining the peritoneum and hence termed peritoneal dialysis.
  • A surgical operation is directed to insert the catheter inside the abdomen or belly by healthcare personnel.
  • The procedure uses an artificial kidney and helps the body get rid of waste products while retaining fluid balance. 
  • After a week or two, the person will put a specific solution called dialysate into the abdomen through the catheter.
  • After a few hours, the solution and the waste are drained into the empty bag out of your belly. A person can disconnect the pack. 
  • Placing a cap on the catheter is not allowed, and resume normal activities when this is done. 

What are the complications seen during Hemodialysis?

Hemodialysis is a life-saving operation and  the possible problems that may arise due to the procedure include

  • Infection of the access site
  • Bleeding from the access site (if the tube comes out accidentally)
  • muscle cramps 
  • weakness
  • dizziness