Dialysis is a process by which a patient with chronic kidney disease can have their blood filtered by procedures that emulate that of normally functioning kidneys.

Many people who have heard about dialysis treatments have a vision in their head of a machine that pumps blood out of a patient into a system that filters the blood of impurities, toxins and extra fluids, then pumps the freshly filtered blood back into the patient. This is technically known as hemodialysis and can be done in a clinical setting or, with the right training of a family member, at home.

But did you also know there is a blood-filtering procedure called peritoneal dialysis? This is a process that uses the patient’s abdominal cavity as a filter to remove waste from the body. This is also a method that can be done at home after a catheter is professionally placed through the patient’s abdominal wall and into the peritoneal or abdominal cavity.

There are actually two types of peritoneal dialysis: Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD) and Automated Peritoneal Dialysis (APD).

In both cases, dialysis fluids, or dialysate, is injected through the catheter and waste inside the patient’s body is picked up by the fluid. After a few hours, the fluid is removed and replaced with new fluid. With APD, the dialysate can actually be injected before bedtime and is cycled throughout the night by a special machine. CAPD is the only type of dialysis that does not need a machine for assistance and can be performed while at work for patients who wish to continue as normal a life as possible while on dialysis.

If dialysis is recommended for you, let Peninsula Kidney Associates be your dialysis resource. Talk with the doctors about which procedure is best for you and the lifestyle you wish to remain while being treated.