Kidney Korner: Dialysis FAQ Part 1

Starting dialysis is a huge lifestyle change that can come with a lot of loaded questions. Let’s explore some frequently asked questions with answers from our wonderful team at DialySuites Bartram Park!

Q: What are my treatment options?
A: Patients needing renal replacement therapy have 4 options: in-center hemodialysis, home hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, and transplantation. Each option has its pros, cons, requirements, and limitations. Take time to discuss your options with your nephrologist and dialysis care team. 

Q: What are some symptoms I’ll experience from having dialysis?
A: After receiving dialysis, you should begin to feel better. Some patients report fatigue on treatment days. Additionally, some side effects you may experience from having dialysis include, but are not limited to: low blood pressure, shortness of breath, muscle cramps, abdominal cramps, and nausea or vomiting. If you feel ill or experience these symptoms, notify your nephrologist and dialysis care team so your treatment can be adjusted. 

Q: Can I work while on dialysis?
A: You can certainly work while on dialysis, so long as you are feeling well enough to do so. There are programs available to assist with time off needed for treatments and appointments. Your social worker can assist in providing resources to you.

Q: How often do I need appointments with my doctor(s) now? Is my Nephrologist my Primary Care Physician since I see them so often?
A: Your nephrologist is just that: your nephrologist. They only specialize in your kidneys. It is imperative that you maintain regular follow-up appointments with your other specialists as this contributes to your overall health status. You will need to see your nephrologist on a monthly basis, at a minimum. They may request additional appointments as needed to check on you and your progress.

Q: Dr. Munjal isn’t my nephrologist. Can I be a patient at DialySuites and still see my current nephrologist?
​A: Your current nephrologist can apply for privileges at DialySuites if they have not done so already. These privileges will allow you to transfer to DialySuites (based on availability) and keep your current nephrologist. 

Q: Can I travel while on dialysis?
A: Traveling while on dialysis takes some planning ahead and coordination between your home facility and the temporary facility. Be sure to notify your team at your clinic so arrangements can be made in a timely manner. We request a minimum of 2 weeks notice.

Q: Can I shorten or miss treatments? ​
A: You must follow the treatment as prescribed by your Nephrologist. Your dialysis prescription is written specifically to your needs and your kidney function. If you shorten or miss a treatment, toxins and fluid will build up in your body which can significantly impact your health. However, there is room for flexibility. If you are a home dialysis patient, you can dialyze at any time that works for you, so long as you do your treatment daily. For in-center hemodialysis, there is less flexibility due to limited chairs and shifts. If you have a change in schedule, please notify your facility coordinator as soon as possible so arrangements can be made in a timely manner.

​If you have any questions or concerns regarding dialysis and your treatment path, please feel free to contact our clinic for more information. As always, stay safe and healthy!

DialySuites is now open!