Kidney Korner: What is Dialysis?

This segment of the Kidney Korner is all about dialysis. Who needs it, what it is, the different modalities, our dialysis clinic, and more. We want to empower our patients by helping them understand that there is life on dialysis and we are here to help you live it to the fullest. This post will go over the most basic points of dialysis so we can expand upon them in the coming posts. 

What is dialysis and who needs it?

Dialysis is a type of renal replacement therapy for patients with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). In some cases, patients with more severe acute kidney injuries will require dialysis until their kidney function returns to their normal levels. Dialysis is not a cure for ESRD; it is required for the rest of the patient’s life or until they receive a transplant. Essentially, the process of dialysis acts as an artificial kidney, filtering out the waste and toxins and transferring the clean blood back into the body. It works to do the job of a kidney by balancing the fluid and minerals in the body as well as work to maintain blood pressure. Read more about how kidneys work in previous Kidney Korner segments here and here. 

What are the different types of dialysis?

There are a variety of types, or modalities, of dialysis to consider. It is important to explore all options to suit your goals and lifestyle. There is life on dialysis and we want you to be able to keep living it as you wish. The 3 types of dialysis are:

  • Hemodialysis
  • Home Hemodialysis
  • Peritoneal dialysis 

Beyond dialysis, a transplant is another type of renal replacement therapy. Be on the look-out for another Kidney Korner segment on transplantation in the near future.

Where can I receive dialysis treatment?

Depending on the dialysis modality and situation, there are a few locations where patients can receive treatment:

  • In-Center, at their designated facility (like DialySuites)
  • At home
  • In the hospital

What do I need to change to be successful?

Success on dialysis depends on your attention to your health as well as open, honest communication with your care team. Your team wants the best for you and is there to support and guide you through these changes. These can look like:

  • Changes in work schedule
  • Changes in diet
  • Changes in exercise habits

We will touch more on the different modalities, treatment centers, and lifestyle changes needed to be successful on dialysis. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your care team. As always, stay safe and healthy!

DialySuites is now open!