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Hemodialysis and Peritoneal Dialysis

2012-09-11 14:04

Once upon a time, I met an old lady who was with ESRD and stuck in dialysis. Of course, this is the last thing she wanted in her life, which explains why she quitted anyway a few days later. She ate what she wanted, and did what she liked in her last days, although the old lay died soon after stopping dialysis, she lived her life in her own way which is totally worth it. I got this information from her physician and was very shocked at first, but soon I understand why. Okay, let get down to business. Today’s topic is about dialysis, so join us to get a comprehensive understanding of this therapy.

What is dialysis?

Dialysis is a treatment which outsources the functions of failed kidneys. It is often needed when one develops ESRD (End-stage Renal Disease) and by the time, one has already lost 85 to 90 percent of kidney function. The therapy is able to keep your body in balance since your own damaged kidneys couldn’t do their job well:

Remove wastes, toxins and extra water from blood

Regulate electrolytes

Keep blood pressure in check

Secrete certain steroids

Other than the last function that dialysis couldn’t achieve, the rests can be done well.

Are there different types of dialysis?

Two types are hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.

Hemodialysis is the most commonly used treatment for Renal Failure since 1960s. The very first kidney machine was constructed by Willem Kolff in 1943. The procedure can be carried out in a hospital, a clinic or self-care center. Before performing hemodialysis, an access point would be created so as to allow your blood flow into the machine. The access made by joining an artery to a vein called fistula, soft plastic tube may be adopted under the skin is called graft. Catheter will be inserted into a large vein in patient’s neck too.

As for peritoneal dialysis, it takes fully advantages of peritoneal membrane to clear toxins and waste products. A catheter tube is inserted into stomach wall and dialysis fluid is introduced to abdominal cavity. How does it work? Peritoneal membrane works as a natural semi-permeable membrane; wastes and toxins are transferred through peritoneal membrane into the dialysis fluid, and then are excreted from the body. Two main types of peritoneal dialysis are continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) and continuous cycler-assisted peritoneal dialysis (CCPD).

Everything has two sides, dialysis is not an exception for sure. Here are some pros and con of those types of dialysis.

Hemodialysis sustains one’s lifespan and is widely located in cities. However, it also obtains so many disadvantages such as the patients have to visit three times a week no matter what kind of weather or conditions are. Strict diet as well as fluid intake are restricted and require following. Additionally, fluctuant blood pressure can be an annoying issue. Most of the patients with HD feel bad for a long time after they step down the dialysis machine.

Peritoneal dialysis is the preferred treatment for people with blood vessels or heart problems. What’s more, ESRD patients with this therapy are more liberal on their diet and water consuming. However, it might lead to weight gain, so diabetics with PD should pay extra attention to their high blood sugar. Infection becomes another serious problem occurring in patients and might lead to death sometimes.

Still remember the old lady I mentioned in the beginning? quitting dialysis is her own choice because she was prone to live a more liberal life; while for others, some of them have strong will to survive, so be it! If you choose to live, fight for it!

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