Hemodialysis is the process of cleaning impurities out of your blood when your kidneys can no longer do it effectively. This process is often used to treat advanced kidney failure, which helps those with failing kidneys to continue to live an active lifestyle.
Differences between hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis
Hemodialysis uses a dialysis machine and a special filter called a hemodialyzer, or artificial kidney, to filter waste and remove extra fluid from the blood. To access your blood, your doctor will need to create a small incision on your arm to create an access point to your blood vessels.
In peritoneal dialysis, the lining of your stomach acts as a natural filter. Your doctor will surgically place a soft plastic tube (catheter) into your stomach. During the treatment, a sterile cleansing fluid goes directly to your stomach through this catheter. After the filtering process is finished, the fluid leaves your body back through the same catheter.
Benefits of hemodialysis
Aside from allowing people to continue living a relatively normal life, hemodialysis has other benefits, such as:
- Hemodialysis requires less time than peritoneal dialysis
Hemodialysis treatments may occur at a hospital, dialysis center or your own home three times a week, with each session lasting between three and five hours. This leaves most of the week dialysis-free. By contrast, peritoneal dialysis takes between 10 and 12 hours every day.
- Hemodialysis carries a relatively low risk of infection
Hemodialysis uses and arteriovenous (AV) fistula, which is the gold standard vascular access used to access a person’s blood. Common complications of peritoneal dialysis include infections of the abdominal lining or at the site where the catheter is inserted to carry the cleansing fluid.
- Hemodialysis requires less surgical interventions
AV fistulas for dialysis last many years, longer than transplanted kidneys and catheters for peritoneal dialysis. This type of dialysis does not typically require additional surgeries.
If you or a loved one is in need of expert dialysis care in South Texas, call South Texas Renal Care Group, voted Best Nephrologists by Scene San Antonio, at 210-212-8622 to schedule an appointment with one of the best kidney doctors in the area.