WebMD reports that there are two types of kidney dialysis with tubing that processes different material. Hemodialysis conducts blood through its tubing, and peritoneal dialysis tubing removes wastes, toxins and extra fluids. Hemodialysis is usually performed at a dialysis center, but at-home dialysis machines are available. Peritoneal dialysis is conducted at home.
DaVita explains that in hemodialysis, blood exits the body through tubing connected to a dialyzer, which acts as a filter to remove waste and extra fluids. Blood is processed a pint at a time and returns to the body through alternate tubing. Patients undergoing hemodialysis spend approximately four hours a day over three non-consecutive days a week on a dialysis machine, according to DaVita.
Peritoneal dialysis uses the lining of the abdominal cavity, which is known as the peritoneal membrane, as a filter, according to WebMD. After dialysis fluid enters the body through a plastic tube called a catheter, it removes extra waste, minerals and fluids from the bloodstream, which it drains out of the body through tubing into a collection bag. This is known as continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis and does not require a machine. Cycler-assisted peritoneal dialysis uses a machine and works while the patient is sleeping.
WebMD explains that kidney dialysis does not cure failing kidneys. Unless a patient receives a life-saving transplant, kidney dialysis is a life-long process.