Frequently Asked Questions
What is Dialysis?
Dialysis is a procedure used to mechanically filter the blood without the help of kidneys. An instrument called the dialyzer is connected to person through main blood vessels which then gets filtered through a series of sterile solutions and filters, the filtered blood is then infused into the body. Dialysis is performed when the kidneys are not functioning properly to eliminate waste material from the blood. There are different types of methods in performing Dialysis and they are as follows:
Hemodialysis: 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.
Peritoneal Dialysis: 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
The dialyzing machine is not used and the dialysate is left the whole night in the stomach In Continuous ambulatory peritoneal Dialysis, While 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 in Automated peritoneal dialysis.
What are the benefits of Dialysis?
Following are some benefits of Dialysis:
- Improved quality of life due to reduced complications of kidney disease or kidney failure
- Improved overall health condition
- Reduced signs and symptoms of kidney failure like uremia, swelling, nausea, vomiting, or fatigue
What are the indications of Dialysis?
Following are the indications of Dialysis:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Therapy-resistant fluid overload
- Uremic symptoms
- Kidney dysfunction or kidney failure
- Intractable hyperkalemia
What is the preparation required for Dialysis?
- Health condition of the patient may be evaluated before undergoing this procedure.
- The doctor may suggest the patient with a few lab tests.
- You may need to prepare for several weeks before undergoing this procedure.
- The surgeon will create vascular access if you are undergoing hemodialysis for the first time.
- The access will help in removing a small amount of blood from the circulation safely and sent back to test how hemodialysis might work.
- The access site must be taken care to avoid infections and other complications.
- The patient should discuss with the doctor about all the risks, complications, and benefits associated with Dialysis.
What are the steps involved in Dialysis?
Following are the steps involved in Dialysis:
The following are the steps involved Hemodialysis:
- This procedure can be performed either at home or in the hospital.
- Your doctor may make an incision to have vascular access before commencing the procedure, Once this incision is healed, the individual will be started with hemodialysis.
- In hemodialysis, two needles will be inserted into the arm of an individual which are then 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.
- This is a painless procedure and the doctor may recommend the person to 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:
- Your doctor may insert a catheter in your abdomen to have access for the dialysis prior to peritoneal dialysis.
- Usually, the catheter will be placed 10 to 14 days prior to the 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.
- The fluid is then drained into an empty bag and the bag is 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 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.
- Foods rich in protein are advised to people undergoing peritoneal dialysis as protein loss occurs in this procedure.
- Take all the medicines prescribed by your doctor.
- Do not take any OTC medications without consulting your doctor.
Who can perform Dialysis?
Dialysis can be performed by a certified and trained Nephrologist who is well experienced in performing Dialysis.
What can be 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 in Hyderabad starts from Rs.750.
The average charge in Hyderabad is approximately Rs.2,356.
The maximum expense in Hyderabad can be up to Rs.5,000.
Who can undergo Dialysis?
Following are the individuals who can undergo Dialysis:
- 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
Who cannot undergo Dialysis?
Following are the individuals who cannot undergo Dialysis:
- Hernia (Inguinal Hernia)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Protein malnutrition
- Critical or Life-threatening illness
- Surgical scars or recent surgeries on the abdomen.
What are the complications and risks involved in Dialysis?
Following are the risks and complications of Dialysis:
- Muscle cramps and Fluid overload
- Low blood pressure
- Trouble sleeping or Sleep apnea
- Anemia and Bone diseases
- Amyloidosis or abnormally high protein levels.
What is the time required to complete Dialysis?
Dialysis process depends on factors like:
- Kidney function
- Body weight and the amount of fluid gained between Dialysis sessions
- Amount of waste present in the body
Dialysis may take almost 3 to 4 hours to complete and may be performed 3 times a week depending on the patient condition.
Does Dialysis cause pain?
Dialysis is a painless procedure generally. However, you may experience slight discomfort due to needles and you may experience fall in blood pressure, headache or cramps very rarely which may be reduced with frequent Dialysis.
Is Dialysis a permanent procedure?
Dialysis is not permanent, you may need Dialysis for the rest of your lives unless or until the kidney function improves or a kidney transplant is performed.
What can be the alternatives for Dialysis?
The following are the alternatives for Dialysis:
- Kidney transplant
- You can choose treatment options like erythropoietin injections every week to prevent anemia which can play a major role in kidney failure. The normally functioning kidneys produce erythropoietin which helps in the formation of red blood cells.
- Medical treatments to improve or preserve the kidney function.