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How does continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis work?

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Quick Answer

In continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis, a cleansing fluid called dialysate, which is gravity fed to the peritoneal lining of the abdomen through a dialysis catheter, filters the blood of waste products and extra fluids and then drains back out of the body to a sterile collection bag, states the National Kidney Foundation. This type of dialysis is machine-free and consists of three to five short dialysate exchanges that occur during normal daily activities.

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Full Answer

Dialysis is a mechanical alternative to the function of the kidneys, which filter the blood of extra salt, water and the body’s wastes, as stated by Mayo Clinic. There are two types of dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. In peritoneal dialysis, a dialysis catheter is surgically inserted into the abdominal cavity, where the capillaries that line the abdomen act as an exchange site between dialysate and the waste products and extra fluid. Dialysate flows through the catheter into the abdomen and stays there for a prescribed amount of time before it drains back out of the catheter, completing one exchange.

Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis refers to a schedule of exchanges, according to Mayo Clinic. Another kind of exchange schedule is continuous cycling peritoneal dialysis, also known as automated peritoneal dialysis, in which a machine performs three to five automatic dialysis exchanges at night. The type of dialysis that a patient chooses depends on his lifestyle, medical condition and personal preferences, explains the National Kidney Foundation.

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