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What is Hemodialysis?

Posted on August 13, 2017 | No Comments on What is Hemodialysis?

Acute renal failure, also known as chronic kidney disease or chronic kidney injury makes the kidneys to malfunction and lose the ability to filter the wastes and remove the extra fluid from the body. Once this happens to you, you will need hemodialysis. Hemodialysis is a procedure done which uses a man-made membrane called dialyzer to filter the wastes and restore the right electrolyte balance in the blood, and remove the excess fluid from the body.

While you undergo hemodialysis, tubes will be attached to your blood vessels which will connect you to the dialyzer. Your blood will slowly be drained from your body into the dialyzer where it will be filtered from the waste products and the extra fluids are eliminated. Then, your filtered blood will be slowly pumped back to your body.

There are different types of hemodialysis, and you can ask your doctor which type is best suited for you. There’s in-center hemodialysis, wherein you go to the hospital or a dialysis center to do the procedure. This is usually done three days a week and will take three to five hours a day. Home hemodialysis will allow you to do the procedure at home, after you, or someone else from your household is being trained. Although this is normally done every other day, or three times a week, you will need to discuss with your doctor for how long each sessions will be. A session can be as long as six hours.

Daily home hemodialysis is done at home as well, but for five to seven days a week, and each session lasts for three hours. Nocturnal hemodialysis is also done at home, from three to seven days a week. The sessions are done overnight for approximately six to eight hours.

After you have undergone sessions of hemodialysis, you will also have to do certain tests and examinations to find out how well hemodialysis is working for you. Blood tests will be done to you at least once a month to find out if you are receiving the right amount of hemodialysis. Your weight is also determined before and after each session, as well as the length of each session. If you will undergo hemodialysis at home, you will need to monitor and record this information.

Hemodialysis can help improve the quality of life, and may even extend your life expectancy. However, this does not cure your acute renal failure, and it only does the 10% of the function of normal kidneys.

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