Peritoneal Dialysis (PD)
Peritoneal Dialysis is the most common method of in-home dialysis, and requires placement of a permanent catheter the abdomen. Using this PD catheter, the space inside the abdomen is filled with a special dialysis fluid called dialysate. Dialysate allows waste, toxins and excess fluid from the blood to pass through the peritoneal membrane, into the dialysis fluid. There is an exchange that takes place – the dialysate that has been in the abdomen is exchanged for new, fresh fluid. Exchanges can be done manually or with a machine called a cycler.
There are two types of peritoneal dialysis:
- Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) - is usually performed in the patient’s home (or at work if in a sterile environment) four times a day for approximately 30 minute intervals.
- Automated peritoneal dialysis (APD) - also known as continuous cycling peritoneal dialysis is performed overnight, while patients sleep using a cycler. Most patients choose this type of dialysis because it allows more freedom during the day.
With this option, your dialysis center will train you and your family to dialyze yourself three to five times per week. You will learn how to place your own needles (self cannulation). Because you can adminster more frequent and/or longer treatments at home, you can have a less restrictive diet.
This type of dialysis uses a machine and a device known as a dialyzer to filter toxins and fluid from your blood. Blood is routed to the dialyzer by creating an access point in a blood vessel, usually in the arm. This is accomplished with a minor surgery that must be done ahead of time so it will be ready for use when needed.
Each treatment takes about four hours and is usually needed an average of three times a week. These treatments are usually done at a Renal Ventures Dialysis Center on a regular schedule. Each treatment is administered and monitored by Renal Ventures staff.
Since dialysis has become a commonly administered type of treatment, patients are not required to always receive treatment at the same center. Travel is an option for patients as long as they plan ahead, are able to schedule treatments elsewhere and are healthy enough for travel.