Kidney Disease

Frequently Asked Questions

14. What is dialysis and how is it used to treat kidney failure?

Dialysis is a treatment to filter wastes and water from your blood. There are two major forms of dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.

In hemodialysis, blood is run through a filter outside of your body and the clean blood is returned to the body.

Hemodialysis is usually done at a dialysis center three times a week, but it can also be done at home. Each session usually lasts between three and four hours.

Peritoneal dialysis is another way to remove wastes from your blood. This kind of dialysis uses the lining of your abdominal cavity (the space in your body that holds organs like the stomach, intestines, and liver) to filter your blood. It works by putting a special fluid into your abdomen that absorbs waste products in your blood as it passes through small blood vessels in this lining. This fluid is then drained away. A key benefit of peritoneal dialysis is that it can be done at home, while you sleep.

Get more information about dialysis.