Should You or Should You Not Get Dialysis?

The kidneys have a crucial role in ensuring proper fluid balance in the body by eliminating waste that might accumulate to toxic levels and cause complications. Over time, patients develop kidney concerns that necessitate physicians like Jonathan Pankow, M.D., to develop treatment plans, including dialysis, that help maintain kidney function when the kidneys can no longer perform their tasks.

When is dialysis necessary?

Not every patient with symptoms indicating kidney failure is a candidate for dialysis. Physicians only recommend this approach when a patient has lost at least 85% of their kidney. The perfect candidates for dialysis include those with end-stage kidney failure.

What does dialysis do for your body?

Appreciating the significance of dialysis for the maintenance of well-being begins with understanding the function of the kidney. The kidney’s role includes:

  • Preventing the accumulation of waste products like urea and salts from the body by developing a waste removal system
  • Maintaining a safe biochemical balance.
  • Maintain healthy blood pressure levels.

Patients with kidney failure require extra support to maintain function and thus body performance. Dialysis involves using specialized tools which take up kidney function.

Can patients recover from kidney failure?

Patients should understand that there are different causes of kidney failure that influence the disease’s severity. Another factor to consider when determining the potential for kidney failure recovery is the patient’s stage of the condition. Patients with acute kidney failure may need temporary dialysis to allow time for recovery.

Are there different types of dialysis?

Dialysis can be classified into two: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. It is essential for your doctor to correctly diagnose the underlying cause of your kidney failure, which influences the type of dialysis you will need to restore your wellbeing.

What is hemodialysis?

This type of dialysis involves a hemodialyzer, an artificial kidney that cleans the blood by eliminating any excess fluid and toxins. Accessing your blood involves minor surgery to your arm or leg to reach blood vessels. Your doctor may need to create a fistula, larger blood vessels by joining an artery and a vein. Unfortunately, some patients do not have large blood vessels to form a fistula. Instead, their physicians leverage a graft, a soft plastic tube, to join an artery and vein.

What is peritoneal dialysis?

Unlike hemodialysis, which involves external blood cleansing, peritoneal dialysis happens inside the body. A physician usually leverages a catheter that will deliver dialysate into the abdomen in the initial stages of the procedure. Peritoneal dialysis involves keeping the blood in abdominal blood vessels still and diffusing toxic materials into the dialysate, which physicians draw out after cleansing the blood in that area. There are two types of peritoneal dialysis spending on whether it requires machine intervention. Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis does not need any machine, and a patient has to deliver dialysate into their abdomen. This type of dialysis happens continuously as a patient goes about their day. Automated Peritoneal dialysis leverages a machine called a cycler. Contact Houston Kidney Specialists Center to determine which type of dialysis is right for you.

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