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People with failed or damaged kidneys may have difficulty in eliminating waste and unwanted water from the blood. Dialysis is an artificial way of carrying out this process. It substitutes the natural work of the kidneys, hence it is also known as Renal Replacement Therapy (RRT). Dialysis keeps the body in balance by:
There are two types of Dialysis-Hemodialysis and Peritoneal Dialysis.
Hemodialysis: During hemodialysis, waste and extra chemicals and fluid from your blood are removed by a hemodialyzer machine. To get your blood into the machine, an access is made into his/her blood vessels. This is done by minor surgery in the arm or leg. Sometimes, joining an artery to a vein under the skin to make a bigger blood vessel called a fistula is also done. Usually, each hemodialysis treatment lasts about four hours and is done three times per week.
Peritoneal Dialysis: In this type of dialysis, your blood is cleaned within the body. A plastic tube called a catheter is placed into your abdomen to make an access. During the treatment, the peritoneal cavity in the abdominal area is slowly filled with dialysate through the catheter. The blood stays in the arteries and veins that line your peritoneal cavity. Extra fluid and waste products are drawn out of your blood and into the dialysate. Plasma exchange may be done along with dialysis, to filter clotting factors and unwanted proteins.
Your doctor will advise you to eat high-quality protein like meat, poultry, fish and eggs as these types of foods will produce less waste for removal during dialysis. He/she will also ask you to avoid processed meats such as hot dogs and canned chili, which have high amounts of sodium and phosphorus.Learn Less
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