Frequently Asked Questions
What is Dialysis?
Dialysis is a procedure in which the blood is filtered mechanically without the help of the kidneys. The main function of kidneys is to eliminate waste material from the blood and to maintain fluid balance in the body. If the kidneys are not functioning properly then Dialysis will take over the function of the failed kidneys. There are two types of Dialysis:
- Peritoneal Dialysis
In this process, the blood is circulated outside the body. A filter is used to eliminate the waste products from the blood. The Dialysis machine used in this process is called hemodialyzer.
In this process, the blood is filtered with the help of the peritoneal catheter and a solution called dialysate.
Peritoneal Dialysis is of two types:
- Continuous ambulatory peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD)
- Automated Peritoneal Dialysis
In Continuous ambulatory peritoneal Dialysis, the dialyzing machine is not used and the dialysate is left the whole night in the stomach. While in Automated peritoneal dialysis a machine called cycler is used which will fill and empty the stomach with the dialysate for 3 to 5 times at night and you can begin your day with fresh dialysate in your stomach.
Advantages of Dialysis
The following are the advantages of Dialysis:
- Dialysis helps in improving the quality of your life by reducing the complications of kidney disease or kidney failure.
- It helps in improving the overall health condition.
- It will reduce the signs and symptoms of kidney failure like uremia, swelling, nausea, vomiting, or fatigue.
Indications of Dialysis
Dialysis may be indicated to you for the following conditions:
- Intractable hyperkalemia
- Chronic kidney disease
- Therapy-resistant fluid overload
- Uremic symptoms
- Kidney dysfunction or kidney failure
What is the preparation for Dialysis?
- Before undergoing Dialysis, you may need to prepare for several weeks prior to this procedure.
- If you are undergoing hemodialysis for the first time then the surgeon will create vascular access.
- This access will help in safely removing a small amount of blood from the circulation and send it back to see how the hemodialysis might work.
- This may take time to heal and then start with the hemodialysis process.
- The access site must be taken care to avoid infections and other complications.
What are the steps involved in Dialysis?
The following are the steps involved Hemodialysis:
- This hemodialysis procedure can be performed either at home or in the hospital.
- Prior to Hemodialysis, your doctor may make an incision to have vascular access. Once this incision is healed, you may be started with hemodialysis.
- In hemodialysis, the first step involves the insertion of two needles into your arm. These two needles are attached to a flexible plastic tube which is connected to a dialyzer (a dialyzer is a machine which filters the blood).
- With the help of the second tube, the filtered blood is sent back into your body.
- Since this is a painless procedure, you can sit back and relax or take a nap during the hemodialysis process.
Method-2: Peritoneal Dialysis
The following are the steps involved in Peritoneal Dialysis:
- This peritoneal dialysis procedure can be performed at home without going to the dialysis center.
- Prior to peritoneal dialysis, your doctor may insert a catheter in your abdomen to have access for the dialysis.
- Usually, this catheter is placed 10 to 14 days prior to the Dialysis procedure. This catheter will help to filter your blood through a membrane in your abdomen called peritoneum.
- The dialysate fluid flows through the catheter into your abdomen from a bag.
- When the dialysate fluid bag is emptied, the catheter is closed with the help of a cap and left for 4 to 6 six hours in your body. This period is called dwell time. You can participate in your everyday activities during the dwell time.
- During this period, the dialysate will absorb waste products and excess fluid from the body.
- Then this fluid is drained into an empty bag and the bag should be discarded. Again fresh dialysate is sent into your abdomen through the catheter and the procedure is repeated. This process is called an exchange.
What is the postprocedure care/recovery care for Dialysis?
The following are the postprocedure tips you need to take after Dialysis:
- Limit your physical activities and talk to your doctor before participating in sports, etc.
- Follow all the dietary restrictions as instructed by your doctor. Limit the intake of sodium, phosphorus, and calorie-rich food.
- The quantity of food and drinks should be taken as advised by your dietician.
- Protein-rich food is advised to people undergoing peritoneal dialysis since it will remove protein in your body.
- Take all the medicines prescribed by your doctor. Do not take any OTC medications without consulting your doctor.
Who can perform Dialysis?
A certified and trained Nephrologist who is well experienced in Dialysis can perform this process.
What is the cost of Dialysis?
The cost of Dialysis may vary according to the following factors:
- Doctor fee
- Hospital Charges
- Medical condition
- Type of Dialysis procedure
- Lab Tests recommended
The minimum cost for Dialysis may be Rs. 1000.00
The average cost of a Dialysis may be around Rs. 2185.00
The maximum cost for Dialysis may be Rs. 5000.00
What is the eligibility criteria for Dialysis?
The eligible criteria for Dialysis are as follows:
- Patients with end-stage kidney disease
- To achieve a better quality of life by reducing the complications of kidney disease or kidney failure.
- To lower the risk of death
What is the ineligibility criteria for Dialysis?
The following are the factors which make you ineligible for Dialysis:
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Protein malnutrition
- Critical illness
- Surgical scars on the abdomen
What are the risks and complications associated with Dialysis?
Dialysis procedure may include the following risks or complications:
- Muscle cramps
- Low blood pressure
- Trouble sleeping
- Sleep apnea
- Bone diseases
- Fluid overload
How long does it take to complete Dialysis?
To completion of the Dialysis process depends on:
- How well the kidneys are functioning
- The amount of fluid you gained between your Dialysis treatments
- The amount of waste present in your body
- Body weight
In general, the time taken to complete Dialysis treatment is 3 to 4 hours. Dialysis is performed 3 times a week.
Is Dialysis painful?
Dialysis is generally a painless procedure. But you may experience some discomfort as the needles are inserted. Very rarely you may experience fall in blood pressure, headache or cramps which may be reduced with frequent Dialysis.
Is Dialysis Permanent?
Dialysis is not permanent, you may need Dialysis for the rest of your lives. You may need to repeat this process three times a week. The number of Dialysis per week depends on how well your kidney is functioning.
What are the alternatives for Dialysis?
The following are considered as alternatives for Dialysis:
- A kidney transplant is considered as an option if you are not willing to opt Dialysis. Discuss with your doctor in detail about the kidney transplant.
- You can choose treatment options like erythropoietin injections every week. The normally functioning kidneys produce erythropoietin which helps in the formation of red blood cells. When the kidney functioning declines, the amount of erythropoietin produced will also be reduced. Hence erythropoietin is injected intravenously during the kidney failure conditions.