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Peritoneal Dialysis Catheter Placement: Before Your Surgery

Location of dialysis catheter outside the body and inside peritoneum.

What is a peritoneal dialysis catheter placement?

Peritoneal dialysis catheter placement is a surgery to place a soft tube (catheter) in an area of your belly (peritoneum) for dialysis. Dialysis does the work of your kidneys when they fail. Dialysis fluid will flow into and out of your belly through the catheter.

The surgery is done a few days to a few months before you start dialysis. There are different types of surgery that your doctor may do. These include:

  • Laparoscopic surgery. A doctor puts a lighted tube, or scope, and other surgical tools through small cuts in your belly. The doctor can see your organs with the scope and will place the tube.
  • Open surgery. The doctor makes a small cut in your belly and places the tube.

You may be asleep during the surgery. It usually takes less than an hour. You'll probably go home the same day. You may have some pain and feel tired for a few days.

How do you prepare for surgery?

Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.

Preparing for surgery

  • Tell your doctor right away if there is any chance that you could be pregnant. Your doctor may order a pregnancy test.
  • Be sure you have someone to take you home. Anesthesia and pain medicine will make it unsafe for you to drive or get home on your own.
  • Understand exactly what surgery is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
  • Tell your doctor ALL the medicines and natural health products you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your surgery. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the surgery and how soon to do it.
  • If you take aspirin or some other blood thinner, ask your doctor if you should stop taking it before your surgery. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do. These medicines increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Make sure your doctor and the hospital have a copy of your advance care plan. If you don't have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets others know your health care wishes. It's a good thing to have before any type of surgery or procedure.
  • You may need to empty your colon with an enema or laxative. Your doctor will tell you how to do this.

What happens on the day of surgery?

  • Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking. If you don't, your surgery may be cancelled. If your doctor told you to take your medicines on the day of surgery, take them with only a sip of water.
  • Follow your doctor's instructions about when to bathe or shower before your surgery. Do not apply lotions, perfumes, deodorants, or nail polish.
  • Do not shave the surgical site yourself.
  • Take off all jewellery and piercings. And take out contact lenses, if you wear them.

At the hospital or surgery centre

  • Bring a picture ID.
  • The area for surgery is often marked to make sure there are no errors.
  • You will be kept comfortable and safe by your anesthesia provider. The anesthesia may make you sleep. Or it may just numb the area being worked on.
  • The surgery will take about an hour or less.

When should you call your doctor?

  • You have questions or concerns.
  • You don't understand how to prepare for your surgery.
  • You become ill before the surgery (such as fever, flu, or a cold).
  • You need to reschedule or have changed your mind about having the surgery.

Where can you learn more?

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