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Kidney Dialysis

Kidney dialysis (hemodialysis) is offered at Jane Todd Crawford Hospital to inpatients who meet certain criteria. It is administered by a trained nurse and under the guidance of nephrologists, Dr. Khalid Bhatti and Dr. Shafic El Hindi.

What is Kidney Dialysis?

Kidney dialysis is a life-support treatment that uses a special machine to filter harmful wastes, salt, and excess fluid from your blood. This restores the blood to a normal, healthy balance. Dialysis replaces many of the kidney’s important functions. If the kidneys don’t work properly, harmful substances can build up in the body, blood pressure can rise, and too much fluid can collect in the body’s tissues, which leads to swelling called edema.

There are different types of kidney dialysis, including:

Hemodialysis – Blood is filtered using a dialyzer and dialysis machine.

Peritoneal Dialysis – Blood is filtered inside the body after the abdomen is filled with a special cleaning solution.

During hemodialysis, you will be hooked up to a machine that takes over the kidneys’ job of filtering blood. Your blood will flow a little bit at a time through a special filter inside the machine. The filter removes wastes and extra fluids from your blood, but retains the proper balance of minerals such as potassium and sodium. Once the blood is cleaned, it is returned to the body.

During peritoneal dialysis, the blood is cleaned by using the lining of your abdominal area as a filter. This method allows your blood to be cleaned while you sleep, while you work, or while you perform your everyday activities.

Kidney dialysis is a necessary treatment for people with end-stage kidney disease or permanent kidney failure. You need dialysis if you’ve lost about 85 percent to 90 percent of your kidney function. Temporary dialysis may be needed in some cases.

Hemodialysis is most commonly used to treat people with end-stage kidney disease. However, children who need dialysis often receive peritoneal dialysis.

Dialysis is not a cure for kidney failure. If you stop dialysis, your kidneys will continue to fail. You cannot live without at least one functioning kidney, unless you get a kidney transplant. Without a kidney transplant, you will need dialysis for the rest of your life.