Types of Dialysis for Kidney Failure

The kidneys, a pair of bean-shaped organs measuring about the size of a fist, perform vital functions such as filtering wastes, extra water, and toxins from the blood. They maintain cleanliness and chemical balance of the blood. Located below the rib cage, the kidneys sift out about 2 quarts of wastes and excess fluid from about 200 quarts of blood every day. The wastes and extra fluid are expelled from the body through urination. On top of these, kidneys also play a role in bone health and blood cell production. If they don't work properly, a lot of bad things can happen. Some examples are buildup of harmful substances in the body, increase in blood pressure, and swelling in the tissues of the body.

What is Kidney Dialysis?
If the kidneys stop functioning properly, a person will need a life-saving treatment called dialysis that involves the use of a specially designed machine to filter excess fluid, wastes, and salt from the body. It's a life support treatment that can restore the blood's normal balance and substitute for the important functions of the kidneys. There are two primary types of dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.

In this type of dialysis, the blood is filtered with the use of a dialyzer and dialysis machine. The doctor will first create entries into the blood vessels so that the body can be connected to the dialysis machine. The method of opening up entries is called vascular access. Vascular access can either be temporary or permanent depending on how long you'll need the dialysis. Then during the actual process, the patient will be hooked up to a machine that performs what the kidneys are supposed to do - filtering the blood. The filter in the machine removes the waste and excess liquids before returning it to the body. Important minerals such as potassium are not removed during the treatment.

Peritoneal Dialysis
In this type of dialysis, the blood is not brought outside the body but is instead filtered inside. This is done by filling up the abdomen with a special cleaning solution. This type of dialysis makes use of the lining in the abdomen as a filter. This will help ensure that the blood is cleaned even if you're not hooked up to a machine. In other words, you can get this form of dialysis while you're engaged in your everyday activities. But before you can have your first session, you'll need to undergo a surgery to create an access into the abdomen. When you're ready for the first dialysis treatment, a special cleaning solution called dialysate will be put into the abdomen. The waste products and extra fluid will be removed from the body during the removal of the dialysis solution.

Peritoneal dialysis comes in two types: Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD) and Continuous Cycler-assisted Peritoneal Dialysis (CCPD). The difference between the two is that the first one is done without a machine while the other makes use of a machine to fill and drain the cleaning solution from into and from the abdomen.


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