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What Is Hemodialysis & Peritoneal Dialysis?

Mar 30, 2017

What Is Hemodialysis & Peritoneal Dialysis?

Hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis are dialysis options for patients with renal disease where renal transplant is not an option.


Before hemodialysis starts, a site is created in the body through which blood is flown out and in the body. The blood vessels of the body are connected to the artificial membrane called dialyzer through tubes and then blood is made to pass through it which filtrates and purifies the blood. The process is done 3 days a week for 3 to 5 hours each day. Hemodialysis can also be done at home with the help of equipment and trained professionals. The disadvantages of this process are that it can be tiresome and increases the risk of blood stream infections. Moreover low blood pressure or blood clots may be caused due to the process.

Peritoneal Dialysis

In this type of dialysis, a catheter is placed on the belly of the patient and the lining of the belly; i.e. peritoneal membrane filters and purifies the blood. The process can be easily done by the patient by himself/herself even during sleep. This dialysis has to be done at least 4 times a day, each lasting for 15-20 minutes. The advantage of this process over hemodialysis is that it can be done anywhere, anytime, even during travel or sleep. Moreover no needles are required to be used and it does not require any food or fluid restrictions like hemodialysis. The disadvantage of the process is that it increases the risk of peritonitis.

Latest Development: Wearable Artificial Kidney

A new device which can be called a wearable artificial kidney has recently been tested on 7 patients at the University Of Washington Medical Center in Seattle by Dr. Victor Gura of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in LA and CMO of Blood Purifications Technologies in California. The device has the potential to replace all the complex machinery associated with hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. The 10-pound device which can be worn around the waist is powered by 9V batteries and has passed the first FDA-approved proof-of-concept trial.

Disclaimer: The information given in this write-up is purely for educating the reader. It is not meant to be a substitute for any advice from a medical expert.

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