What is Kidney Dialysis and When is it Required?


Kidney failure is a terrible thing for anyone. Kidney dialysis is an option to help you feel better. If you are seeking kidney dialysis treatment in Dallas, TX and want to know what it is and when it’s needed, read on for the answers.

Kidney dialysis: what is it?

Kidney failure is when the kidneys work at less than 15% of normal. Kidneys can fail temporarily or chronically, depending on the kidney issue or disease being dealt with. In either case, dialysis is the treatment used to take over some of the work normally done by healthy kidneys. This treatment comes in two forms:

Hemodialysis: A catheter (tube) is surgically inserted into a blood vessel, usually in your neck, arm, or leg. The catheter allows access to your blood, which is sent to a machine that filters, cleans, and returns your blood back into your body. This type of dialysis is usually done at a special dialysis facility several times a week.

Peritoneal dialysis: This type of dialysis uses your body to clean your blood. Your abdomen (belly) has lots of tiny vessels that can act as filters to clean your blood. To access the space and vessels in your abdomen, a catheter is surgically placed. The catheter is used to fill your abdomen with a special liquid that helps remove waste from the blood that passes through the tiny vessels in the abdominal space. The fluid is then drained out of your belly. This treatment is normally performed daily at home.

Who needs kidney dialysis?

Patients with kidney failure. Sometimes kidney failure resolves, so dialysis may only be needed for a brief time, until the kidneys get better. Other times, the kidneys do not get better, but get worse over time (chronic kidney disease) and eventually fail (end-stage kidney failure). In cases of chronic kidney disease or end-stage kidney failure, dialysis is used until a kidney transplant can be performed.

While dialysis can help you feel better, it does not work as well as normal, fully functioning kidneys do. It only replaces some of the work done by the kidneys. Dialysis does not cure or reverse kidney disease, either.

When you start dialysis depends on your kidney problem/disease, your kidney function (determined by blood and urine tests), and overall health. It may save and prolong your life, but, as with any treatment or procedure, there are risks associated with it. If you think you need dialysis, speak with your doctor to see if it is the right treatment for you. Visit Children’s Renal Center for more information.