Dialysis is a treatment for kidney failure that helps filter
waste products from the blood when the kidneys are not working properly.
Peritoneal dialysis (PD) uses a membrane in the abdomen (the peritoneal
membrane) as a natural filter to clear wastes and extra fluid from the body and
to keep chemical levels in the body as close to normal as possible.
Peritoneal dialysis does not require travel to a dialysis center. The
dialysis process (called an exchange) can be done at home, often at night
during sleep. But it must be done on a continuous, daily basis.
The first step in peritoneal dialysis is called the Fill, in which the
dialysis solution enters the peritoneal cavity. The second step is the Dwell. During the Dwell step, while the solution is in the peritoneal cavity, extra fluid and waste from the
body travel across the peritoneal membrane into the dialysis fluid. The final
step is the Drain, in which the dialysis solution is drained after a few hours
and replaced with new solution.
There are different types of peritoneal dialysis:
September 15, 2011
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Mitchell H. Rosner, MD - Nephrology
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