Icon - Centre-based haemodialysis

Centre-based haemodialysis

Centre-based haemodialysis usually takes place in a hospital or ‘satellite’ dialysis unit. The treatment itself is the same as home haemodialysis.

There is also a special version of haemodialysis known as haemodiafiltration, which cleans the blood in a slightly different way. It’s becoming more widely available. Some people do better on haemodiafiltration, particularly those on dialysis for many years.

With centre-based haemodialysis, appointments are usually three times a week. Many units offer morning or afternoon sessions and a few hospitals offer overnight sessions, with treatment while you sleep. Once arranged, you will usually dialyse at the same times every week.

Each treatment lasts four to five hours. To allow for travel, preparation and completion of the dialysis you will need to set aside a total of six to eight hours.

Travel to the dialysis unit is usually your responsibility but if you need assistance talk to your healthcare team about local transport options.

Effect on lifestyle

Activities are limited during dialysis treatment and you can feel tired after treatment. You can read, chat, play games, watch TV, write, use a laptop or sleep, but you cannot get up and move around. Some people do gentle exercise while on dialysis.

When you are not on dialysis you can work, attend social functions, exercise and carry on your usual role with your family. Generally, you will need to modify your diet and fluid intake, with guidance from a renal dietician.

For more information on centre-based dialysis, click here.

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