Understanding Dialysis which Helps Kidney Failure

Understanding Dialysis which Helps Kidney Failure - Dialysis is essential for patients with kidney failure. In this medical condition, the body will experience a buildup of fluids and toxic substances in the body. When should you undergo dialysis if you suffer from kidney failure?

Understanding Dialysis which Helps Kidney Failure
Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash


What is dialysis?


Dialysis is a procedure carried out to get rid of hazardous waste and excess fluid in the body using medical devices. This procedure is done to replace kidney function. Also known as dialysis, dialysis also helps maintain fluid balance and electrolyte particles in the body when the kidneys fail to function.

Healthy kidneys perform a variety of essential functions, such as controlling fluid balance, getting rid of waste substances from the body, to producing hormones to control blood pressure. But in patients with kidney failure (chronic kidney disease), normal function is difficult or not optimally carried out by the kidneys.

Dialysis procedures or dialysis can help patients with kidney failure. If you do not do dialysis, salt and other waste products will accumulate in the blood. These substances can also poison the body and damage organs.

Even so, it is essential to remember that dialysis cannot cure chronic kidney disease.
When should you undergo dialysis?

Dialysis needs to be done if the patient starts experiencing end-stage renal failure, i.e., when the kidneys are no longer able to carry out 85-90% of their normal functions.

Another indicator of urgency for dialysis is the value of EGR. eFGR is the estimated value of glomerular filtration rate, calculating the volume of blood passing through the glomerulus (a small filter on the kidney) in one minute.

If the eGFR value is getting lower, then the kidney damage is getting worse.

Kidney failure patients need to have dialysis if they have an eFGR value below 15. Dialysis must be carried out for a lifetime unless the patient gets a kidney transplant.

Types of dialysis procedures


In general, there are two types of blood washing or dialysis, namely hemodialysis, and peritoneal dialysis.

1. Hemodialysis
Hemodialysis is a dialysis procedure that uses an artificial kidney (hemodialyzer). Patients' blood will be 'transferred' from the body and filtered through the hemodialyzer. The filtered blood is returned to the body with the help of a dialysis machine.

To drain blood from the body to the hemodialyzer, the doctor will create an access point to the blood vessels. There are three types of access points for this procedure, namely:
  • Arteriovenous fistula, which connects the arteries with veins to make larger 'blood vessels' called fistulas.
  • Arteriovenous graft. The arteries and veins are connected by soft plastic tubes.
  • Catheter. The doctor inserts a small plastic tube into a large vein in the neck.

Hemodialysis generally lasts 3-5 hours per session and is done 3 times a week. Even so, the duration can be shorter with more various frequencies.

Hemodialysis will also usually be done in a hospital or dialysis clinic. After undergoing hemodialysis for some time, the doctor may allow the patient to do dialysis at home.

2. Peritoneal dialysis
If hemodialysis is done with an artificial kidney, peritoneal dialysis is a dialysis procedure carried out in the patient's body. Through surgery, the doctor will place a catheter into the stomach to make access.

The abdominal area will be filled with dialysate through the catheter. The liquid will absorb waste substances. Once the dialysate has finished absorbing waste from the bloodstream, the fluid will be released from the patient's stomach.

The dialysis peritoneal dialysis procedure takes several hours and needs to be repeated four to six times a day.

Are there any side effects of dialysis?


Dialysis or dialysis still has risks and side effects. Some of the side effects of dialysis include:
  • Muscle cramp
  • Itchy skin, often worse before or after dialysis
  • Low blood pressure, especially in people suffering from diabetes
  • Sleep problems
  • Excessive fluid, so people undergoing dialysis should consume the same amount of fluid each day
  • Infection or ballooning in the area of ​​the dialysis access point
  • Depression and mood changes

Another thing related to another dialysis
The following are things about dialysis, which are worth knowing

1. How much does dialysis cost?
Generally, dialysis procedures require a fee of $9,900  in one visit. However, this fee will also depend on the health facility policy you are aiming for.

2. Can kidney failure sufferers survive by dialysis?
Of course, you can, on the condition, the patient must undergo dialysis all his life until he gets a kidney transplant.

The life expectancy of a kidney failure patient will depend on the patient's health condition and compliance in undergoing the doctor's direction. Always consult a doctor to help you stay healthy when you begin the dialysis procedure.

3. Does the patient need to pay attention to his food consumption?
Yes, with the help of a doctor, kidney failure patients will need to pay attention to their food intake. The patient must also limit water consumption. The type of diet required will depend on the type of dialysis procedure performed.

4. Can the patient return to work?
Yes, many patients with chronic kidney disease continue to work, although indeed they must allocate time to undergo dialysis. Patients must also avoid work that requires physical exertion.

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