Which Dialysis Is Right For Me?

Which Dialysis Is Right For Me?

When considering which type of dialysis treatment is right for you, several factors need to be taken into account. These include your age, medical history, lifestyle and personal preferences. 

Dialysis is a form of renal replacement therapy that helps the body in getting rid of waste products from our system when our kidneys are unable to do so.  

There two types of dialysis:  

  1. Haemodialysis 
  1. Peritoneal dialysis 

Haemodialysis is the most common type of dialysis. Blood flows out from the body through a tube into a dialysis machine where it is filtered before being returned to the body. Blood is drawn either via a plastic tube (dialysis line) or via an “arteriovenous fistula” (enlarged blood vessel in the arm, created surgically). This treatment is required up to three times per week and takes about four hours each time. 

On the other hand, individuals who prefer to be more independent may benefit from home peritoneal dialysis treatment. This would be a good option for those working full time and/or retired individuals who are able to perform the treatment by themselves with minimal support. This is a daily treatment that is usually performed at home.  

Patients who have reached end-stage kidney failure will require some form of renal replacement therapy.  They will be assessed by experts such as Nephrology Consultants, Surgeons and specialist nurses and will be guided on the best treatment that will optimize their health and well-being. It is a life-changing journey where the patient and/or relatives will be fully involved in the decision-making process.  

Benefits of dialysis 

The benefits of dialysis include:  

  • Regulating blood pressure 
  • Eliminating waste products and maintaining a healthy balance of fluids in your body 

Ultimately, the decision about which type of dialysis is right for you should be made in consultation with your healthcare team. They can provide guidance and support to help you make an informed decision. 

We understand that every patient has unique needs and preferences, and we are committed to helping each patient make the best decision for their circumstances. 

How often dialysis is needed? 

The frequency of dialysis sessions can vary depending on your medical condition and the type of dialysis treatment you receive. 

If you have acute kidney injury, your dialysis sessions may be more frequent and can vary depending on the severity of your condition.  

At Royal Free, the frequency of dialysis sessions is determined by your individual needs and medical condition. Our expert team of nephrologists and nurses will work closely with you to create a personalised treatment plan. 

Dialysis side effects 

Dialysis treatment is a life-sustaining therapy for people with kidney failure, but it can also cause side effects. Some common side effects of dialysis treatment include: 

  • Low blood pressure  
  • Muscle cramps  
  • Nausea 
  • Headache 
  • Itching 
  • Sleep problems 

Your healthcare team will be able to help minimise and support you to manage any side affects you encounter. 

How to prepare for a dialysis session  

Preparing for a dialysis session can help ensure that the treatment is safe and effective.  

If your dialysis is done in the hospital or dialysis centre, here is a checklist of things that you should do before the session:  

  • Take medications as directed 
  • Follow any recommended dietary and fluid restrictions 
  • Bring medication, light snacks and something to keep you entertained 
  • Wear comfortable clothing 
  • Try to relax during the session by taking deep breaths or meditating 
  • Communicate with your care team if you are experiencing any discomfort or have any questions 
  • Practice self-care by getting enough rest and eating healthily 

Our dialysis team can advise you further. 

Get in touch 

We offer state-of-the-art dialysis facilities and equipment to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible throughout your treatment. 

If you are considering dialysis treatment and would like to learn more about our services and how we can help you, please get in touch:  

Our dialysis unit is open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Saturday. 

Telephone number: +44 (0)20 7317 7751 

Email address: rf-tr.privateenquiries@nhs.net 

Phone lines for enquiries are open from 8am to 6pm. 

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