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?
- At-home dialysis improves your quality of life. You can lead a more normal work and social life.
- With longer or more frequent treatments, people on at-home dialysis usually have fewer food restrictions and take fewer medications.
- At-home dialysis improves outcomes—and may help people live longer.
What Is Peritoneal Dialysis?Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is a form of dialysis that uses the lining of your abdomen to filter waste from your blood. PD is done at home. It gets its name from the lining of your abdomen, which is called the peritoneum. This lining is a membrane that surrounds the space called the peritoneal cavity. It’s a miracle of the human body that this natural lining can be used to filter your blood.
Peritoneal dialysis: more freedom, more flexibilityEvery type of dialysis has its pros and cons. Let’s see how PD stacks up.
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 avoiding 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.
Time needed to do peritoneal dialysis
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.
AT-HOME DOESN’T MEAN YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN
That means you get the comfort of home and the comfort of knowing that a professional is there to help you troubleshoot issues or make adjustments.