About Peritoneal DialysisAbout Peritoneal Dialysis
Peritoneal dialysis is more than the continuous removal of harmful substances and toxins from your body. It offers the quality of an active lifestyle and extra comfort of the procedure performed right at home.
In many cases, choosing PD allows for fewer limitations in work, sport, and travelling. You can carry out the procedure by yourself, without being dependent on the dialysis centre.
Advantages of Peritoneal DialysisAdvantages of Peritoneal Dialysis
- The procedure can be done at home, without visiting the dialysis centre.
- Flexible diet, fewer eating restrictions.
- No more than 1-2 check-ups a month at the centre.
- Compatible with an active lifestyle.
- Can be performed manually, without using the dialysis machine.
The Process of Peritoneal DialysisThe Process of Peritoneal Dialysis
Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) is used to relieve the symptoms of kidney failure, extend life expectancy and achieve an acceptable quality of life for patients. The blood vessels in the peritoneum allow for using it as a «filter» to remove uremic toxins from the blood.
As a result, waste products from the blood are absorbed by the dialysis solution inside your belly. After an average of 4 hours, the used dialysate containing filtered waste products is drained from your belly and replaced with a fresh solution.
Before starting PD, it is necessary to make permanent access to the peritoneum. To do this, you need to have minor surgery to insert a peritoneal catheter.
PD is done at home by the patient, a family member, or a nurse 3-5 times a day. All the necessary supplies for PD are delivered to the patient’s home.
For automated PD you will need a special machine called a cycler. The procedure is done at night while you are sleeping and lasts about 8-10 hours. The catheter is connected to the cycler with a system of tubes. Night dialysis is enough to have the rest of the day to yourself.
Those who undergo PD need to visit the medical centre no more than 1-2 times a month. A nephrologist will do a routine check-up and a blood test. You will have more time for socialising, family, and hobbies.
The choice of the PD method depends on medical reasons, whether the patient is exempt, and their personal preferences. The patient should choose consciously because it will determine whether the treatment is effective and safe. It is preferable to start replacement kidney therapy with PD first and then switch to hemodialysis or a kidney transplant. In certain cases, patients receiving HD can switch to PD, but such cases are rare.
Possible ComplicationsPossible Complications
Some complications may develop during peritoneal dialysis
- Early and late dialysate leaks. It is a rarely occurring complication.
- Hydrothorax—the collection of fluid within the pleural cavities. It is a rare complication associated with some patients’ anatomical features. It is impossible to diagnose before starting PD
- Heart rhythm disorders associated with the changes in the patient’s blood chemistry due to not following the prescribed diet or not taking medications
- An increase in blood sugar level
- Catheter exit-site infection.
- Tunnel infection.
- Peritoneal dialysis peritonitis.
Infectious complications are often treated with antibiotics. In the case of PD peritonitis, antibiotics are put in the bag with dialysate. PD peritonitis may result in lowering the ability of your peritoneum to eliminate toxins and the formation of adhesions in the abdominal cavity. This may be the reason for the patient to switch to hemodialysis. PD peritonitis may develop as a result of a delay in starting the treatment of an exit-site or tunnel infection.
The results of the treatment of infectious complications depend on the timing of your visit to your doctor at the nephrology centre. Severe adverse reactions to medications may include allergies, anaphylactic shock or other deadly side effects, but they occur very rarely (several cases per one million injections of a particular medicine per year).
We have professionals trained in PD at NephroMed. However, the method is not used everywhere because it may be difficult to ship the PD equipment to certain regions. If you are interested in this type of treatment, you can contact any of our centres to find out whether it suits you, where to get the treatment and who to contact.