There are a variety of treatment options for you!

Treatment Options at a Dialysis Center

DSI has a large national network of dialysis facilities where a patient can be taken care of by a team of experienced professionals.

Hemodialysis is a process in which substances are removed from the blood through the use of a filter.  This process is necessary when the kidneys are no longer able to perform this function.  Blood is removed from your body through a needle and tubing by a dialysis machine.  The blood gets filtered or cleaned by an artificial kidney (dialyzer).  The blood is then returned back to the body via a nother needle. Hemodialysis requires a scheduled visit to a dialysis facility where a team of professionals will provide all aspects of care. The hemodialysis treatment usually takes from three to five hours three times a week.  The substances removed during the treatment are waste products, toxins, and excess fluid.

Nocturnal Hemodialysis
Nocturnal hemodialysis treatments are also offered in the clinical setting.  Nocturnal means "overnight" dialysis. It is the hemodialysis treatment done at night while the patient sleeps. The treatments are done usually three nights per week for six to eight hours.  Since treatments are done at night leaving days free, this treatment may be the best option for those patients who would like to continue employment.

Treatment Options at Home

Home modalities are different kidney disease treatment options that may be performed in the home setting, instead of in a dialysis center.  The patient and partner are trained and supervised by professional nurses to do dialysis treatments independently. Home Modalities consist of Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) and Home Hemodialysis.

Home Hemodialysis
Home Hemodialysis is an alternative to treatment at a dialysis facility. It is very similar to in center hemodialysis but occurs in a home setting. There are two types of Home Hemodialysis, Traditional Home Hemodialysis which is performed three times a week for three to five hours each session and Nocturnal Home Hemodialysis which takes place at night while the patient is asleep three or more nights per week for six to eight hours each session. Individuals may be able to receive the hemodialysis treatment in the privacy and comfort of their own home instead of at a clinic.  Ample space is required for treatment, along with storage space for the dialysis machine and supplies. Patients in conjunction with a dependable partner must be willing to receive rigorous training that can take up to eight weeks.  Home Hemodialysis has many advantages which include flexibility of schedule and more control over treatments.  Home Hemodialysis patients must be committed and accountable for their own care.

Peritoneal Dialysis
Peritoneal Dialysis utilizes the peritoneal membrane in the patient's abdomen to remove waste and excess fluid from the body.  The peritoneum is the lining of the abdominal cavity and functions like the membrane of an artificial kidney. A catheter is placed in the abdominal wall to access the peritoneum. During treatment a solution (dialysate) enters the peritoneum through the catheter and remains in the peritoneal cavity for a number of hours.  During this time waste products, toxins and excess fluid move from the blood through the peritoneal membrane, into the dialysate which will be drained from the cavity afterwards.

Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD) and Continuous Cycling Peritoneal Dialysis (CCPD) are two forms of Peritoneal Dialysis.  CAPD is a form of dialysis which the patient manually performs exchanges.  Exchanges are performed by placing a bag of dialysate fluid high on an IV pole.  The dialysate flows by gravity via the catheter into the peritoneum cavity, stays for a few hours, and then is drained out by gravity.  Patients normally do four exchanges daily, with each exchange lasting about thirty minutes.

Continuous Cycling Peritoneal Dialysis (CCPD) sometimes referred to as Automated Peritoneal Dialysis (APD) is a form of peritoneal dialysis that requires a small machine called a cycler.  The patient connects the catheter to the cycler and the cycler automatically fills and drains the dialysate.  This treatment usually takes place during the night while the patient sleeps for eight to ten hours.

A kidney transplant is the surgical placement of a healthy human kidney into the body of a patient with kidney failure.  Its purpose is to restore kidney function with the donor kidney and enhance the quality of life for the patient.  To be considered for a transplant, a series of tests must be performed as well as evaluations by doctors, social workers and a transplant coordinator. Transplantation is considered to be a treatment for kidney disease, not a cure. Consequently, after a successful transplant it is important to have ongoing evaluations of patient, medications, and kidney function.