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Types of Dialysis: Which Option is Better for Your Health Condition?

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Count the number of measures you are taking for your kidney health. Definitely, your number will be low like many others. It indicates that kidney health has minor importance for you. But it needs to be a top priority for every individual. Because the kidneys are among the body’s organs that work continuously to support life. 

The major functions of the kidneys are to remove harmful waste and products from the body through urine. Filtration of the blood is another important function that the kidneys perform.

When the kidneys are not healthy or don’t work properly, harmful wastes and fluids don’t pass from the body. The removal of these products from the body is essential as their high buildup can lead to fatal conditions. In the situation when the kidneys don’t remove waste, dialysis becomes necessary for patients whose kidneys don’t remove waste.

Dialysis is the most effective method to purify the blood and remove extra fluids from the body. A kidney failure patient, who is going to get dialysis in the near future, tends to find answers to some questions. For instance, this patient wants to know: what is dialysis, which are the types of dialysis, and what are the side effects of dialysis?

Finding answers to all these questions can be a back-breaking process. But giving a read to this guide will help you in understanding dialysis and all the questions related to it.

Types of Dialysis

Usually, nephrologists and other healthcare specialists perform dialysis in two ways. It means that dialysis has two types. However, dialysis has also a third type but it is not common. The doctors reserve the third type for acute kidney failure. Let’s take a look into these three (two common and one uncommon) types!


People are aware of hemodialysis because it is a common procedure and type of dialysis. Before performing this procedure, a surgeon places a needle in the neck, chest, leg, or arm.

During hemodialysis, the healthcare specialist attaches a tube to this needle and the needle has a connection with a machine. Blood moves into the machine through the tube and the machine filters. After filtration, blood moves back to the body and the process continues unless the blood is completely pure.

Hemodialysis lasts almost four hours. And the need to get this procedure depends on the functioning of the kidneys. Some patients need hemodialysis three times a week and this number can increase up to six times.

Is it possible to prevent hemodialysis?

Yes, eating good foods and avoiding harmful ones will make your kidneys healthy. The kidneys will become more effective and perform their functions efficiently. Health maintenance of the kidneys over time will reduce the risk of hemodialysis.

Preventing hemodialysis is a must because it can affect the quality of life. According to a study, if the time period of hemodialysis increases for months or years, it can decrease quality of life. Other studies also found similar effects of hemodialysis on quality of life.

Peritoneal Dialysis

Peritoneal dialysis is the second type of dialysis. In peritoneal dialysis, the peritoneum of the abdomen works as a filter rather than a machine. The peritoneum is present inside the lining of the stomach.

As you know, the kidneys have thousands of tiny blood vessels that help in filtering the blood. Similarly, the peritoneum also has these vessels in thousands which makes it a perfect choice for filtering.

Before starting peritoneal dialysis, a surgeon or nephrologist gives a small cut near the belly button and inserts a catheter in the peritoneal cavity. This catheter will permanently remain in the peritoneum. However, it can be removed if your kidneys start functioning again.

During the procedure, a doctor places a fluid (dialysate) inside the peritoneal cavity. This fluid absorbs all the waste from the blood and then the doctor draws out the waste through the catheter.

Effective Tips from Dr. Awais Zaka to Avoid Kidney Damage

From MD Health Center, Dr. Awais Zaka also explains dialysis in detail, especially peritoneal dialysis. Dr. Awais is a renowned internal medicine specialist who also has a fellowship from the American Board of Internal Medicine and Nephrology.

Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy

The third (also uncommon) type of dialysis is continuous renal replacement therapy. In CRRT, nephrologists also use a machine to filter blood and remove extra and harmful waste. 

Usually, healthcare specialists reserve this type of dialysis for patients with acute kidney failure. Patients with acute kidney failure have two options: dialysis or kidney transplant.

Suggested Read: Best Kidney Transplant Hospitals in Lahore

No doubt, every type of dialysis helps kidney patients in filtering their blood. But these types can cause undesired effects. The above-mentioned ways of dialysis have different side effects. What are the side effects of dialysis; Let’s know them!

Dialysis Side Effects

The side effects of hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, and CRRT are different.

Hemodialysis Side Effects

Hemodialysis can cause the Following Side Effects:

  • A reduction in blood pressure
  • Blood clots
  • Muscle cramps
  • Itchiness
  • Bacterial infection
  • Sleep apnea
  • Anemia
  • Sudden cardiac arrest

Peritoneal Dialysis Side Effects

The side effects of peritoneal dialysis are:

  • Infection of the peritoneum
  • A rise in blood sugar or potassium
  • Hernia
  • Weight gain
  • Anxiety

Constant medical procedures like peritoneal dialysis in some people can cause anxiety. Anxiety can lead to depression and dementia in later life.

Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy Side Effects

CRRM’s side effects are the following:

  • A decrease or increase in calcium levels
  • Blood problems
  • Low blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Low platelet count

After discussing the side effects of dialysis types, it is time to answer some common queries about dialysis, its types, etc.


These are some common queries about dialysis.

What is the dialysis process?

Dialysis is a process to remove harmful waste and fluids from the body. The major purpose of dialysis is to filter and purify the blood.

How does dialysis work?

As mentioned above, dialysis has three types. Every type of dialysis works in a different way.

When is dialysis needed?

When your kidneys stop functioning and don’t remove waste from the body, you need dialysis.

What is hemodialysis?

Hemodialysis is a procedure in which doctors use a machine to filter blood.

What is peritoneal dialysis?

In peritoneal dialysis, nephrologists use the peritoneum cavity of the abdomen to remove waste.

Which type of dialysis is a better option for a kidney patient?

It is the nephrologist who will decide the dialysis type for kidney patients. Usually, doctors decide on dialysis type according to the kidney disease and the patient’s condition.

A word from Healthwire!

Still, want to know more about dialysis from a nephrologist? Healthwire has a large number of nephrologists from all over the country. You can contact these nephrologists through Healthwire without facing any difficulty.

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