Before we begin to understand dialysis, let us explore a little about kidneys. Kidneys are two fist sized bean shaped organs located right below our rib cage on either side. Their function is to filter toxins and wastes from the blood to make urine which is then passed out of the body. Due to trauma or a wide range of conditions, the kidneys may not be able to filter the blood properly. This is where dialysis comes in.
Dialysis is the process of artificially removing the waste products and excess fluid from the blood as well as maintaining healthy levels of chemicals and minerals in your blood.
There are two types of dialysis. These are:
In this process, a hemodialyzer (also called an artificial kidney) is used to filter the waste, excess chemicals and fluid from the blood. To get your blood into the hemodialyzer, your doctor would have to perform a minor surgery on your arm or leg. This is done to gain access into your blood vessel.
In some cases, your doctor might join an artery to a vein under the skin to form a larger blood vessel (called a fistula). If the blood vessels are not adequate for a fistula, your doctor might also create a graft. This is done by using a soft plastic tube to join the artery and vein. To gain access into the blood vessels, a catheter can also be inserted into a large vein in your neck. This usually provides temporary access.
On an average each haemodialysis cycle lasts for about 4 hours and is done three times a week. The time required also depends on factors such as your kidney function, fluid gain between treatments, waste saturation in the blood, the type of hemodialyzer and your general health.
- Peritoneal dialysis
Peritoneal dialysis is named after the peritoneum, the inner lining of your stomach. In this process the peritoneum is used as a filter rather than a machine. Prior to the treatment, your doctor would make a small incision near your belly button. A catheter is then inserted into your abdomen (the peritoneal cavity)
Fluid is pumped through the catheter into the peritoneal cavity. The peritoneum contains thousands of blood vessels, making it a filter similar to the kidneys. The waste and the excess fluids are then drawn out of the blood and into the dialysis fluid. This process generally takes 30-40 minutes and has to be done 3-4 times a day.
In most cases, you would be able to decide which type of dialysis you prefer. You can discuss your options with your urologist or nephrologist to understand the pros and cons of each process before you make your decision. Book your Dialysis in Gurgaon today at the best Kidney & Nephrology hospital in Gurgaon.