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Dialysis information & advice

When your kidneys fail to work, you need dialysis. This is at a point called end stage kidney failure, and usually means that you have lost 85 to 90 percent of your kidney function.

When your kidneys are functioning properly, they clean your blood, removing harmful wastes, extra salt and water. In addition, they produce the hormones that keep your bones strong and your blood healthy.

When your kidneys fail, you need dialysis to perform this critical cleaning function.

There are two main types of dialysis:

  • Hemodialysis: Hemodialysis uses a machine to filter your blood
  • Peritoneal dialysis: Peritoneal dialysis uses the lining of your abdomen, called the peritoneal membrane, to filter your blood
Both types have both risks and benefits, and also require that you follow a special diet.

Where you have the procedure done is also important - they can either be done in a hospital, or at home. Your doctor will help you to decide which method is right for you, and where it should be done.

There are some kinds of acute kidney failure that get better after treatment, but in chronic or end stage kidney failure, your kidneys do not get better, and you may ultimately be placed on a waiting list for a new kidney.