caregiver checking her patient

After you’re diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, you have an important choice to make in terms of your dialysis treatment. When it comes to choosing the right type of dialysis, you need to consider your lifestyle and your needs before you make a final decision. Although some people don’t know it, there are several types of dialysis to choose from, including treatment in a dialysis center and treatment at home. Carefully weighing your options will ensure that you make the best possible decision for your health.

OUT-PATIENT DIALYSIS TREATMENT

In-Center Treatments

One of the most popular types of hemodialysis treatment is being performed in a dialysis center facility. With this option, you visit a treatment center several times a week for three or four hours at a time. Choosing this option you need to consider:

  1. the distance to the center;
  2. the availability of a treatment chair for you; and
  3. the day and time you need to have the dialysis.

The moment the schedule is set-up, you are locked in for this schedule. If you’re looking for a hemodialysis option that’s more flexible in nature, then in-center dialysis treatment won’t be the best choice for you.

HOME DIALYSIS TREATMENT

SELF-ADMINISTERED

Home Hemodialysis

If you don’t like the idea of going to a dialysis treatment center 3x per week, then there are other types of hemodialysis treatment open to you. Home hemodialysis, for example, will allow you to get the treatment that you need without leaving the comfort of your home. With home hemodialysis, you will need the following:

  1. Your hemodialysis should be via stable and working access and not any other ports like catheter.
  2. You and a dialysis care partner is needed to be trained by a dialysis nurse to learn how to administer dialysis treatments on your own.
  3. The dialysis care partner, generally your spouse, friend, or family member, should be willing to provide you with care every treatment.

Although home hemodialysis does offer you more freedom than in-center dialysis, it does require you or your care partner to become comfortable with administering the hemodialysis treatment.

Peritoneal Dialysis

Another option for dialysis treatment other than hemodialysis is Peritoneal Dialysis. Like Home Hemodialysis, Peritoneal Dialysis is done at home and treatment should be performed by the patient daily. For Peritoneal Dialysis you need to do the following:

  1. A surgeon needs to insert a PD catheter on your abdomen.
  2. A nurse will provide a 3-4 week training to you or your caregiver to perform the procedure.
  3. The treatment can be done in the morning or evening daily.

Patients who choose Peritoneal Dialysis generally feel better. However, there is a need for extra precaution due to a high incidence of infection among patients on PD.

NURSE-ASSISTED HOME DIALYSIS TREATMENT

Staff-Assisted Home Hemodialysis

While everyone would not qualify for staff-assisted home hemodialysis, by far this is one of the most effective, easy and successful hemodialysis treatment. Unlike in center treatment or home hemodialysis treatment, Staff-Assisted Home Hemodialysis offers you the freedom to receive your dialysis treatment in the safety and privacy of your own home/place of residence. The major advantages are the following:

  1. You don’t need a dialysis care partner and you will NOT have to perform the dialysis yourself.
  2. A hemodialysis experienced licensed nurse will come to your home and administer the treatments for you, ensuring that the procedure is done properly and according to your Nephrologist’s orders.
  3. The schedule is arranged between you and your licensed nurse.

Patients who choose staff-assisted home dialysis generally experience better patient outcomes, a less stressful dialysis experience, and a better quality of life. If you’re looking for a dialysis option that will give you true freedom, confidence of safety and speedy recovery time, then staff-assisted home hemodialysis is a great option.