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.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT TREATMENT FOR YOU 

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

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 flexibility

Every type of dialysis has its pros and cons. Let’s see how PD stacks up.
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Advantages of at-home peritoneal dialysis 

  • 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, on vacation—even in a car. All you need is a space that is well lit, clean and inside—not outdoors.
  • 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.
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AT-HOME DOESN’T MEAN YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN

You have 24/7 on-call home PD nurses available by phone.
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.

ACCESS YOUR LAB RESULTS ONLINE

Access your treatment data, lab results and flowsheets from your computer, tablet or smart phone.
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What you need to succeed

  • You need special PD training at first.
  • You will need a catheter (a soft, flexible tube) surgically placed in your abdomen—and you will need to care for it.
  • Know it may take some time to get used to the feeling of fluid in your belly.
  • Make sure you follow precautions to 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 treatment team.

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Time needed to do peritoneal dialysis

Because PD is continuous, you’ll need to give yourself time for your treatment (draining or filling) throughout the day. If you choose the type of PD where you use a machine (a cycler) to do your treatments while you sleep, you’ll only spend about 3 hours a week prepping and cleaning your supplies.

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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—after all, this is a decision you should feel good about.

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