Is home dialysis right for you? That’s a big decision, one that you will need to make carefully with your healthcare team. You will want to understand both the advantages and the disadvantages of home dialysis before making your decision. The staff at the dialysis center will be glad to teach you what you need to know. They will explain to you about the different types of dialysis available, including home or in-center. And they can show you the different options for home dialysis.
The first step of home hemodialysis is for you as a patient and your “partner” (parent, spouse, sibling, or other) to get well-trained on the hemodialysis procedure by a home dialysis nurse. There are three main types of home hemodialysis:
- Conventional (3-4 hours at a time, three times per week)
- Short daily (2-3 hours at a time, 6-7 days per week)
- Nocturnal (performed at night)
The frequency and length of treatment is prescribed by your physician based on your specific needs. Your dialysis center will provide all supplies necessary for the treatment. The center will also provide the type of the machine that is best for you, based on a careful discussion with your healthcare team of your needs, your home situation, and other issues.
Home Peritoneal Dialysis
Peritoneal dialysis offers a wonderful alternative for those patients who would like to do their dialysis at home. Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) has been available for many years. It achieves the same goals as home hemodialysis, but it reaches those goals in a very different way.
PD starts by having a tube surgically placed in your abdomen (peritoneum). Then when you are ready, you start doing “exchanges". What is an exchange? A special liquid mixture goes through the tube into the abdomen to absorb toxins and extra fluid. Then the exchange is completed when this mixture drains out of your abdomen through the same tube.
On the Road to Home brochure explains the different home dialysis options.
Home Dialysis Central is website with resources on finding a clinic, living well on home dialysis, and learning more about your treatment options.
Home Hemodialysis Patient Guide is a comprehensive brochure on getting ready for home hemodialysis, understanding insurance coverage, and more.