At-Home Peritoneal Dialysis

A growing number of doctors and people with chronic kidney disease agree that at-home dialysis—whether it’s peritoneal or hemodialysis—is the best option whenever possible. Why choose at home?

  1. At-home dialysis improves your quality of life. You can lead a more normal work and social life.
  2. At-home dialysis improves outcomes. With longer or more frequent treatments, people who choose at-home dialysis usually have fewer food restrictions and take fewer medicines. Not only are they healthier overall—they live longer.


Whether you’re getting ready for dialysis or want to switch to a different type of dialysis, our Treatment Decision Guide can help you decide what treatment options might be best for you.
Download the guide

Getting Prepared for Peritoneal Dialysis

Before you begin at-home peritoneal dialysis (PD), your home-training nurse will visit with you in your home. He or she will check your home for safety and see where you plan to do your treatments.

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Setting up your home

To do PD at home, you’ll need:

  • A clean and well-lit room or other area you can close off. Pets should not be in your treatment area while you are connecting or disconnecting your catheter for treatment—during the time when the system is “open” and more prone to bacteria and germs pets may carry. 
  • Space for storing your supplies.
  • A grounded outlet if you are doing continuous cycling peritoneal dialysis (CCPD) using a cycler.

Getting creative with your space

Supplies do take up space. Your home-training nurse will talk with you about how to organize your supply storage area for your medicines, your dialysate solution and tubing sets, as well as your cycler, if you’re choosing to do CCPD.
Storage space for peritoneal dialysis

How much is enough storage place?

You´ll need space for a month's worth of supplies. 
Your home-training nurse will get you organized.


Ideally, you should have 1 month’s worth of
supplies—especially in
case of weather
emergencies. If you have space issues, it may be possible to order a smaller amount of supplies at a

Four tips to get ready for peritoneal dialysis (PD)

4 Tips for at home peritoneal dialysis


Setting up your access with a catheter

A peritoneal catheter is a flexible hollow tube about the size of a straw that is usually placed in the lower abdomen. (It may be placed higher up on the torso, depending on your specific needs.) A small piece of the tubing stays outside the body and can be covered when not being used.
peritoneal dialysis catheter
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Planning ahead for your catheter is key

Because it takes about 2 weeks for the incision to heal and “mature” before it can be used for dialysis, you’ll need this minor surgery done ahead of time. A PD catheter is usually placed by a surgeon in a sterile operating room—or treatment room—to minimize infection. It’s often done under local anesthesia.

Once the area with the catheter is healed, a nurse will teach you how to use your catheter and how to take care of it.
Buried catheter

If you know you’re going to do PD—but you are at least 6 weeks from starting—your doctor may suggest putting in a “buried” catheter for future use. Here, the catheter end is not exposed but stays under the skin until needed. The advantage is that as soon as you need to begin your treatments, the doctor easily exposes the catheter end so it can be used immediately.


At-home dialysis is one of the best ways for you to do dialysis. Find out if starting or switching to at-home dialysis is right for you. 
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