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Peritoneal dialysis uses a membrane inside your body (peritoneal membrane) as a filter. It clears wastes and extra fluid from your body and works to return electrolyte levels to normal. Unlike in-centre hemodialysis, you don't need to travel to a dialysis centre for your treatment. Instead, after being trained at a dialysis centre, you will do your treatment at home on your own schedule. Peritoneal dialysis can often be done at night, while you sleep.
You will need to have a catheter placed in your belly (dialysis access) before you start dialysis. Placement is usually done 10 to 14 days before dialysis starts.
The process of doing peritoneal dialysis is called an exchange. You will usually complete 4 to 6 exchanges each day using these steps:
There are different types of peritoneal dialysis:
Discuss these treatment methods with your doctor to decide which one might work best for you.
You may have mild back pain during peritoneal dialysis. Or you may feel like your abdomen is full.
Peritoneal dialysis replaces the work of the kidneys after complications of kidney failure develop.
Peritoneal dialysis (PD) does not fully replace normal kidney function. It does not reverse chronic kidney disease or kidney failure. PD only provides up to 10% of normal kidney function. For this reason, it's important to take your medicines as instructed and follow your eating plan.
The most common complications from peritoneal dialysis include infection around the catheter site and infection of the lining of the abdominal wall (peritonitis). Less often, there may be problems related to the catheter. But most complications can be managed or prevented.
Current as of: March 1, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Tushar J. Vachharajani MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology
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