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Transcript: "What is Dialysis?"

Narrator: A doctor speaks with a patient in his office.

Patient: What is dialysis?

Doctor: When the kidneys are so damaged that they can't maintain health, it's necessary to replace the work that they do in moving water and waste products with a treatment, and the treatment is called dialysis. There are two major ways of doing dialysis.

The one most people are familiar with is called hemodialysis and that involves placing a needle in the arm and drawing blood out through a tube, passing it through an artificial kidney filter and returning it to the patient. That's usually done three times a week in a dialysis unit for about 4 or 5 hours. Second major way dialysis is done is called peritoneal dialysis and that utilizes the lining of the abdominal cavity, the belly, as the replacement filter for the kidneys. That treatment is done at home by the patient or by a family member. It can be done at night and it can be automated and allows the patient to have a more normal lifestyle. And many people who wish to continue working and be free during the day choose that treatment.

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