If your kidneys stop working completely you will need to undergo dialysis or a kidney transplant.
The two major forms of dialysis are hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
A special filter called a dialyzer
functions as an artificial kidney to clean a person's blood when you have hemodialysis. The dialyzer is a canister connected to the hemodialysis machine.
During treatment, the blood travels through tubes into the dialyzer, which filters out wastes, extra salt, and extra water. Then the cleaned blood flows through another set of tubes back into the body. Hemodialysis is usually performed at a dialysis center three times per week for 3 to 4 hours. A small but growing number of clinics offer home hemodialysis in addition to standard in-clinic treatments.
In peritoneal dialysis, a fluid called dialysis solution is put into the abdomen. This fluid captures the waste products from a person's blood. After a few hours when the fluid is nearly saturated with wastes, the fluid is drained through a catheter. Then, a fresh bag of fluid is dripped into the abdomen to continue the cleansing process.
Patients can perform peritoneal dialysis themselves. Patients using continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) change fluid four times a day. Another form of peritoneal dialysis, called continuous cycling peritoneal dialysis (CCPD), can be performed at night with a machine that drains and refills the abdomen automatically.
A donated kidney may come from an anonymous donor who has recently died or from a living person, usually a relative. If you are approaching kidney failure talk to your doctor now about whether a transplant is a good option for you.
- The kidney must be a good match for the patient's body so the immune system won't reject the new kidney.
- You'll take special drugs to trick your immune system from rejecting the new kidney.
- Unless they are causing infection or high blood pressure, the diseased kidneys are left in place.