What Is a Dialysis Treatment?


When a person's kidneys are not functioning properly, dialysis treatments are required to eliminate the waste, extra fluids and salt from the body. When kidney disease leads to kidney failure, these organs cannot perform their functions. In the end stage of chronic kidney disease, the kidneys' functioning abilities are reduced to nearly 90 percent, reports the National Kidney Foundation.

Besides removing waste and toxins from the blood, a dialysis treatment performs other functions like regulating blood pressure and maintaining the correct levels of minerals like potassium. However, there are two different types of dialysis that can be performed, which are hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis, relates Medical News Today.

Hemodialysis involves minor surgery to make an access point to get to blood vessels so that the blood can be filtered through an artificial kidney machine. The access point can be on the arm or leg area. Hemodialysis treatments may be performed three times per week, and the procedure may take up to 4 hours, states the National Kidney Foundation. Peritoneal dialysis requires that a catheter be surgically implanted into the abdominal area. The treatment entails pumping a solution called dialystate through the catheter to draw out the waste and toxins from the blood.

A person whose kidneys have failed may need dialysis treatment until a kidney transplant can be performed. If this is not an option, then people may need to receive dialysis treatments for the rest of their lives, according to the National Kidney Foundation.