In-Center
Hemodialysis:
A Place to Feel Better 

All dialysis treatments can be safe and effective. What’s really important is exploring all of your options and choosing a treatment type you’re comfortable with. In-center dialysis offers the reassurance of staff-assisted treatment, labs and checkups all in one place—in the company of others going through the same thing. To make an informed decision on what’s right for you, explore all of the dialysis options.

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

In-Center Treatment

Hemodialysis is the only type of dialysis offered in-center. However, you still have the choice of your treatment time—and many centers offer nocturnal (nighttime) treatments, too.

What is hemodialysis?

Simply put, hemodialysis is a process where blood is filtered outside the body by a dialyzer or “artificial kidney” and then returned to your body. 

If any friends or acquaintances ask you to explain hemodialysis, just remember that “hemo” means blood and “dialysis” means filter.

Choosing the best time for hemodialysis

Because hemodialysis is a gradual process and can’t be rushed, it’s important to make time in your schedule for your dialysis treatment. 

When you have hemodialysis at a center, you will typically need to commit to 3 appointments every week. But the good news is you can have your treatments during the day or at night while you sleep, whichever is most convenient for you. If you opt for nocturnal (nighttime) hemodialysis or your doctor recommends it, make sure to select a center that offers it. You may also wish to consider nocturnal hemodialysis in the comfort of your own home.

Because it is critical to your long-term health to attend every treatment session, choosing a treatment schedule that works best for the way you live can help you keep your appointments and stay on your treatment plan. The return on your time investment? A fuller, more active and healthier life.

Daytime hemodialysis

If you’re retired, have free time on most weekdays, work at night or like having your nights free, then going for your hemodialysis treatments during the day may be right for you.

FREEDOM TO CHANGE

Know that even after you've started one kind of dialysis, you're not locked into it. Many people will switch from one kind of dialysis to another, depending on their lifestyle and health needs.
Dialysis treatment options

Benefits

  • All your treatments, labs and checkups are done in one place. There’s no need to store dialysis equipment or supplies at home.
  • You can use your dialysis time to read, rest, work on your computer, watch TV, listen to music or do something else that you enjoy.
  • You may also enjoy chatting with others just like you—knowing you’re not alone on this journey can be a comforting thing.
  • You can free up your nights to pursue your hobbies or interests, enjoy social events or be with family and friends. 

What you need to succeed

  • Fully commit to your treatment time: usually 3 times a week, 3 to 5 hours a day, plus travel time.
  • You may feel very tired and unsteady on your feet during the first several months of treatment and you will need to arrange for someone to drive you to and from each treatment session. You may wish to ask a trusted family member or friend. Or you can speak with your social worker about low-cost or free resources for transportation. When you feel well enough, you may wish to drive yourself or take public or private transportation on your own.

Nocturnal (nighttime) hemodialysis

Are you balancing work, school or family obligations during the day? If so, nocturnal hemodialysis may be ideal for you. It is also recommended if your doctor feels you may benefit from a longer treatment time to filter your blood.

Healthy kidneys filter out waste continually. Nocturnal dialysis more closely resembles natural kidney function since it filters your blood over a longer period of time. Because of this, it may even offer added health benefits. And since you sleep during your treatment, nocturnal dialysis has the added benefit of blending more easily with your lifestyle.
In center dialysis treatment

Benefits

  • You can have more time during the day for things you may want to do.
  • You may have more energy and feel better overall. 
  • You may have a more normal diet and less fluid restrictions on treatment days.
  • You may need less medication to reduce blood pressure and phosphorus levels.
  • You can help protect your heart, bones, joints and nerves from long-term damage.
  • All your treatments, labs and checkups are done in one place. There’s no need to store dialysis equipment or supplies at home.

What you need to succeed

  • Fully commit to your treatment time: usually 3 times a week, approximately 8 hours a night, plus travel time.
  • You may feel very tired and unsteady on your feet during the first several months of treatment and you will need to arrange for someone to drive you to and from each treatment session. You may wish to ask a trusted family member or friend. Or you can speak with your social worker about low-cost or free resources for transportation. When you feel well enough, you may wish to drive yourself or take public or private transportation on your own.
  • At times, you may have difficulty sleeping during your treatment. Staying calm and reminding yourself that you are being treated in a safe, supervised environment can help you relax. It may also be helpful to listen to soothing music on headphones.
  • If in-center nocturnal hemodialysis is not available in your area, you may need to travel farther to another center or opt for daytime or at-home dialysis.