Patients with advanced kidney disease often face significant health challenges. This requires intensive care and education, ideally before kidney failure develops.
Different treatment options are available when the kidney is failing such as dialysis and kidney transplantation. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of kidney transplants, so dialysis modalities are often used.
Dialysis, in general, is a treatment that replaces the work of your kidneys to clear wastes and extra fluid from your body. Hemodialysis accomplishes this using a dialysis machine, and a filter called the dialyzer or artificial kidney. The dialysis machine pumps your blood through the dialysis system and cleans it from impurities, and excessive salt and fluid in the body.
Peritoneal dialysis is the process of using the peritoneal cavity in your stomach, via a special catheter called the peritoneal dialysis catheter, while also using a variety of solutions to achieve the same purpose.
You can do hemodialysis at a center three times a week, or you can do it in the comfort of your own home.
Because of advantages in survival and the convenience of doing such treatments at home, there have been recent advancements in kidney care, strongly supported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and also reinforced by the Advancing American kidney Health (AA KH) executive order, which endorses a significant increase in patients dialyzing at home, and receiving kidney transplants.
There are two types of home dialysis: Home hemodialysis (blood cleaning with a small dialysis machine, which can stay at your home), and home peritoneal dialysis (where supplies for this modality are also kept at your home).
Studies have shown that survival in end-stage renal disease and overall health is better with home dialysis.
The more you know about your treatment and the more you do on your own, the better you are likely to do on dialysis. Patients who choose home dialysis notice increased energy, improved appetite, fewer hospitalizations, and better sleep.
There have been advances in-home dialysis technologies that have simplified hemodialysis, allowing it to be performed in the comfort of a patient’s home. There are smaller dialysis machines and more uncomplicated blood tubing that make it easier to manage. You can do your treatment on your own time by having short daily sessions or a more extended session at night. Other advantages of home hemodialysis are gentle fluid removal and better phosphorous control.
At New York Health Kidney Specialists we realize that these decisions are often complicated. Therefore, we have developed a chronic kidney disease clinic, and incorporated a kidney disease education program, with a series of educational sessions in a 1: 1 format, so that the patient can make the most informed choice.
Part of this educational process is also what to expect with kidney transplantation, and educate the patient on this process.
If you or a loved one may benefit from home hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis, contact us and we can help you make the choice which is best for you.
New York Health Center For Nephrology
2500 Route 347, Bldg. #14A
Stony Brook, NY 11790