Department of

Nephrology - Dialysis Hemodialysis

Department of

Nephrology - Dialysis Hemodialysis

Dialysis Hemodialysis

Hemodialysis, spelt as Haemodialysis or simply called Dialysis is a process where an external machine acts as a replacement for a kidney in case of a permanent kidney failure also known as end stage renal disease (ESRD). Its functions include compensating the functions of a kidney, everything from filtering waste to salts and even excess toxins present in the blood. This helps the patient live an active lifestyle.

When Is Dialysis Performed?

Dialysis is performed commonly under two scenarios i.e

  1. Total renal damage / permanent kidney failure
  2. To filter/ flush out drugs, poisons and toxins from the body.

Types Of Dialysis 

There are two types of dialysis i.e

  1. Hemodialysis – Here, an external machine known as a dialyzer is used for the filtration of blood by connecting 2 needles into the fistula or a graft i.e a connection between an artery and vein is made. The dialyzer, which contains many fibers and a dialysate, filters out the waste and  sends the filtered blood into the patient’s body through the second needle. Post the session the needles/ tubes are safely removed and the patient is discharged.

In case of an emergency dialysis a central venous catheter is inserted into the large vein of the groin or neck surface. The catheter (narrow flexible tubular structure) is later safely removed post the process of dialysis

  1. Peritoneal Dialysis – Here, the peritoneal lining of the abdomen acts as a vital role for the filtration as the blood is not transferred to any external source of machine. A catheter is inserted in the abdomen through the area around the belly button through which the dialysate can go through the abdomen. The abdomen is then filled with a special fluid called dialysate. Eventually, all the toxins, and other waste material in the blood is drawn out into the dialysate. This then is collected and disposed of in a specific bag attached to the other end.

Reasons For Kidney Failure  

Generally kidney failure would not occur all of a sudden but rather by the gradual depletion of the kidney’s efficiency. This could happen not only by one factor but various factors together also. The factors are as follows

  1. Hypertension
  2. High blood glucose levels
  3. Inflammation in the kidneys which is medically termed as glomerulonephritis
  4. Formation of cysts inside the kidneys (PKD) or polycystic kidney disease
  5. Inflammation of blood vessels
  6. Accident/ Injury on the kidneys
  7. Heart Attack

How often is Dialysis performed? 

  • Dialysis is performed depending upon the patient’s severity of illness. Only the doctor diagnosing would best suggest the frequency of the dialysis sessions to be done in its respective period.
  • On a general note most people get dialysis done thrice a week, known as In-Centre Hemodialysis. Per session would last anywhere from 3 to 5 hours.
  • For patients in critical conditions, dialysis would be done almost everyday but for a shorter duration of time. This is done at home where each session would last about 2 to 3 hours.

Related Links