When you have end stage kidney disease your body cannot get rid of extra water and waste products. Dialysis is removal of the water and waste products.

Dialysis must be performed for the rest of your life or until you receive a kidney transplant. If the transplant is unsuccessful, dialysis can be restarted.

There are different types of dialysis: haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Haemodialysis can be done at home or at a specialised centre. Peritoneal dialysis is done at home.

Haemodialysis (home or centre)

Haemodialysis is done at least three times a week and lasts for four to five hours. It can also be done overnight.

During haemodialysis, needles are used to access your blood. Your blood is taken through a special filter called a dialyser, which cleans the blood. It is then returned clean to your body.

The extra water and waste products you don’t need travel from your blood through the dialyser and go down the drain.

Peritoneal dialysis (home)

Currently, in Australia, nearly 25 per cent of people on dialysis are using this method. About 40 per cent of new patients choose peritoneal dialysis early in their journey with end stage kidney disease.

There are two types of peritoneal dialysis: continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (the day-time bags) and automated peritoneal dialysis (the overnight machine).

Both use the same catheter (tube), which is placed in the stomach. Special peritoneal dialysis fluid is used to clean your blood. It is changed regularly. In between fluid changes, you can carry out your normal activities. Most people choose the overnight machine and have the dialysis while they sleep.

For more information on dialysis treatment, click here.

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Treatment for kidney diseaseCentre-based haemodialysis
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