What Is Peritoneal Dialysis?
There are big benefits to choosing home dialysis—like getting better results. PD treatments are done more frequently, so waste and toxins in your blood don't have a chance to build up as much between treatments. Home dialysis may also mean fewer food restrictions and less medication.
How does peritoneal dialysis work?Peritoneal dialysis uses blood vessels in the lining of your peritoneum (abdomen) to naturally filter and clean your blood. Dialysate fluid is circulated into your peritoneal (abdominal) cavity either manually or by using a PD dialysis machine called a cycler. The fluid then absorbs the waste, toxins and excess fluid from your blood, which are removed when the dialysate is drained.
What are the benefits of peritoneal dialysis?
Home PD may be right for you if you work, go to school, travel or value your flexibility during the day.
- You can do peritoneal dialysis (PD) at home without assistance—while still having regular monitoring and a 24/7 on-call PD nurse via phone.
- You have the flexibility of making your own schedule. Plus you can do PD almost anywhere—at work, at home and while traveling. All you need is a space that is well lit, clean and indoors.
- PD may help preserve residual kidney function.
- There are no needles used. PD treatments are generally painless.
- Without traveling to a dialysis center, you have more time for yourself—and no weather-related weekly travel worries.
- You have more freedom to work and be social.
- It’s gentler on your body—including your heart.
What do you need to succeed at PD?
- A peritoneal catheter (a soft, flexible tube) will be surgically placed in your abdomen.
- You’ll receive detailed training at your center to ensure you feel comfortable doing PD on your own. You’ll also learn proper catheter care.
- Know it may take some time to get used to the feeling of fluid in your belly.
- Following certain precautions will help you avoid the risk of an infection called peritonitis. Your nurse will give you instructions on how to avoid infection.
- You will need ample storage space for your supplies.
- If you have diabetes, know that your doctor may need to adjust your dose of insulin. That’s because the sugar in the dialysis fluid may make your blood sugar levels higher.
- You will do your treatments every day, 7 days a week—as prescribed by your nephrologist.
- You will visit your clinic once or twice a month for check-ins with your doctor and care team.
GET SUPPORT ANYTIME, DAY OR NIGHT
Both home dialysis options offer 24/7 on-call nursing coverage by phone. Plus, regular check-ins with your care team.
Time needed to do peritoneal dialysis
“PD offers the most flexibility. It’s the easiest to learn.”
Is peritoneal dialysis right for me?
While most people are candidates for PD, not everyone is. If you’ve had several abdominal surgeries or your peritoneal lining isn’t intact, it may not be possible. Be sure to tell your doctor about past surgeries and ask what choices are the best ones to consider. Always feel free to ask questions. This is a decision you’ll want to feel good about.