How Does Dialysis Work, And How Long Does Dialysis Take?

How Does Dialysis Work, And How Long Does Dialysis Take?
30 Dec 2021
6 mins
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How Does Dialysis Work, And How Long Does Dialysis Take?

    Do you think dialysis procedures are painful and a person undergoing kidney dialysis cannot live a normal life? It is not like that. The truth is dialysis may cause minor discomfort but it is not painful. You can even travel on dialysis with planning. 


    Dialysis replaces some of the kidney functions and increases the lifespan of kidney failure patients. Understand dialysis procedure and how long does dialysis take for each treatment session in the following content.


    What Is Dialysis Used For?


    Dialysis is a medical procedure to filter your blood when your kidneys are not able to do it. It helps remove excess fluids and wastes in your blood. You will need dialysis if you have kidney failure. 


    There are primarily two types of dialysis, hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Hemodialysis can be done at a dialysis centre or home. Peritoneal dialysis can be done at any place which is clean and dry. It can be home or workplace or any private place.


    How Does Dialysis Work?


    Your blood will be filtered in the machine connected outside to your body or inside your body, depending on the type of dialysis. Your doctor will recommend you a particular dialysis option based on your requirements and your preferences. If you are chosen to do it at home, you will need training for several weeks to carry out the dialysis procedure.


    In hemodialysis, The first step in the hemodialysis procedure is creating vascular access. A minor surgery usually at your arm will be done to provide vascular access.  Vascular access or hemodialysis access is a place where the needles will be inserted to carry blood in and out of the body to the dialysis machine. This makes the blood vessels stronger so that the needles can be used repeatedly. 

    This surgery will be performed three weeks to three months before starting dialysis.

    At the start of the treatment, a technician or nurse will place two needles in your arm using your access. A spray or cream can be used to numb the place where the needle is placed if you feel bothered. Through a soft tube connected from one needle, blood flows from your body to the dialysis machine. The blood enters the filter inside the dialysis machine. 

    The waste substances in the blood move into the dialysis solution placed in the machine. The cleaned blood enters into the tube, which is connected to another needle and enters into the body.

    The dialysis solution consists of water and chemicals. Your doctor will adjust the composition of chemicals in the dialysis solution based on how much minerals are present in your body, blood pressure, and other problems you experience during dialysis. 


    How Long Does Dialysis Take Place In Hemodialysis Procedure?


    Usually, each dialysis session in the hemodialysis procedure lasts for about 3 to 5 hours and is done three times a week. If you are doing hemodialysis at home, the treatment sessions suggested can be more frequent and longer than the usual time. It can be either 2 to 3 hours daily or six to eight hours three times a week. Your doctor will explain how many and how long sessions you exactly need.

    In peritoneal dialysis, Before two to three weeks of starting the peritoneal dialysis procedure, a flexible soft tube called a catheter will be placed into your belly using minor surgery. The end of the tube will come out through your skin. This tube is used to put dialysis solution into your belly.


    In this dialysis, the lining of your belly is used as a filter to clean your blood. At the start of the treatment, you need to connect the bag of dialysis solution to the catheter. Raising the bag to shoulder level let's gravity pull the solution into your belly. 


    Once the solution is filled in your belly, you can disconnect the bag and place a cap on the catheter end. The dialysis solution inside your belly absorbs the waste substances from your body. You can move around and do normal activities while the blood gets cleaned.


    After a few hours, you need to drain the used solution from the belly and fill it with fresh dialysis solution. This dialysis procedure is called the exchange. You can do the exchanges by yourself or using a machine. The exchange usually takes 30 to 40 minutes. 

    How Long Does Dialysis Take Place In A Peritoneal Dialysis Procedure? 


    It is usually done four to five times per day. You need to keep the solution for about four to six hours or more. If you use a machine to do your exchanges, it can fill and empty the dialysis solution 3 to 5 times during the night. Your doctor will explain how many exchanges you should do. 


    Live longer with dialysis:


    With kidney failure, you will require dialysis or kidney transplant surgery to live. If surgery has been chosen as an option, you need dialysis until you get a kidney transplant. With successful dialysis you can live for more than 10 to 20 years. To make your treatment effective, don’t skip any dialysis sessions and follow the diet care, medicines and physical care recommended by your physician strictly. 

    Written by
    GuruvigneshwariContent Writer
    AboutM.Pharmacy (Pharmacognosy)
    Tags :Dialysis proceduredialysis durationhome dialysishemodialysisperitoneal dialysis