Peritonitis is an infection of the lining of the belly (peritoneum). It causes pain and swelling inside the belly. It may also cause a fever. The infection can be serious if it is not treated.
This type of infection can happen in people who use peritoneal dialysis (PD). PD uses a dialysis fluid and the lining of the belly to filter toxins from the blood. The fluid enters and leaves the belly through a soft tube, or catheter. The place where the catheter comes out of your body is the dialysis access. You may get peritonitis if the catheter is not sterile. You can also get it if the area around the access is not clean.
Peritonitis can also be caused by:
Your doctor will give you antibiotics to treat the infection. If you use PD and the infection is minor, the antibiotics may be added to the dialysis fluid. The doctor may give you a new access while the old one heals. Or you may start using hemodialysis instead of PD. Hemodialysis uses a machine instead of the lining of the belly to filter waste from the blood.
If the infection is from a hole in the intestine, you may have surgery to remove pus and infected tissue from the area.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line
if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and
keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate
medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter K784 in the search box to learn more about "Peritonitis: Care Instructions."
Current as of:
May 27, 2016
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
& Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Arvydas D. Vanagunas, MD - Gastroenterology
© 2006-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.