Peritoneal Dialysis vs Hemodialysis


Peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis are the two primary methods to consider when selecting whether dialysis treatment is best for a certain patient. Hemodialysis is a method of eliminating waste and toxins from the body by using a dialyzer and artificial blood vessels.

Usually, hemodialysis is performed three times weekly, for three to four hours each session, at a specialized clinic called a dialysis facility. By contrast, vascular access is not required for peritoneal dialysis because the patient’s own peritoneal membrane serves as the filter.

The Kidneys remove and filter body waste and other excess fluids in the blood. All this waste is further sent to the bladder to be wiped out from the body when you urinate. Dialysis is a procedure that filters and sanitizes blood with the help of a machine.

If Kidneys are not functioning and they are failed to eliminate the waste from the body doctors prescribe performing Dialysis. In reference to the National Kidney Foundation, when kidneys are functioning at only 10-15 percent of their normal capacity it’s considered the last stage of kidney failure. During this treatment body fluids and electrolytes are balanced and maintained when the kidneys aren’t functioning.

What is the objective to use dialysis?

Kidneys functioning to their full capacity extract extra water, impurities, and other waste from pulling-up in the body. Kidneys also help to control blood pressure and maintain the balance of various other chemical elements such as sodium and potassium in the body. In fact, kidneys release a form of Vitamin D that improves calcium retention.   

Due to any injury or disease, when kidneys can’t filter the impurities of the body, dialysis is best prescribed as an alternative to avoid any damage to other organs. In the absence of dialysis, salt and other waste accumulates in the blood and poison the body, and may even lead to death.

How many types of Dialysis are available?

There are three distinct sorts of dialysis to prescribe.

Hemodialysis treatment

Hemodialysis is the most recommended type of dialysis. An artificial kidney (hemodialyzer) is used in this procedure to filter the impurities and extra fluid from the blood.

Blood is passed through the artificial kidney for purification and then filtered blood is again entered into the body with the help dialysis machine.

To get adequate blood flow to the artificial kidney, your doctor creates an entrance point (vascular access) into your veins through surgery. There are three types of entrance points:

  • Vascular access catheter. This is injected into the large vein in your neck.
  • Arteriovenous (AV) fistula: In this procedure, an artery and a vein are connected and it is the most suitable option to perform.
  • AV graft: It is a looped tube.

AV fistula and AV graft, both are intended for long-term dialysis treatments. The individual who has gone under AV fistula procedure gets healed quickly and can start hemodialysis in 2 to 3 months after their surgery. Catheters are designed to use for temporary or short-term procedures.

Peritoneal dialysis treatment

In Peritoneal dialysis, a peritoneal dialysis (PD) catheter is implanted through surgery into your abdomen. This catheter allows the filtering of blood through the peritoneum, a membrane in the stomach.

Under this treatment, a special fluid known as dialysate circulates into the peritoneum, and dialysate absorbs the impurities or waste of the body. Once dialysate collects impurities out of the circulatory system, it’s released from the abdomen.

This entire process takes about a couple of hours and requires replicating 5-6 times daily. Although, this process can be performed while you’re sleeping or awake.

What are other options or alternatives to dialysis?

Dialysis is an expensive and time-consuming process, and not every individual wants to choose it, mainly if there is severe or acute kidney failure.

If you don’t wish to choose dialysis, there are other alternative treatment options are available to help and improve your condition. Anemia management is one of the available options you can choose to pursue.

When Kidneys function properly, the body naturally produces the hormone erythropoietin (EPO) and when kidneys are not functioning to their capacity you can choose to get injected with EPO every week.

Another alternative for individuals is a kidney transplant, however, it has long-term commitment. Consult your doctor to check if a transplant is feasible for you. You might not be able to go for a kidney transplant if you:

  • smoke
  • overweight
  • intensely consume alcohol
  • Have untreated health ailments

When dialysis should be stopped?

Dialysis saves the lives of those who have reached end-stage renal disease (ESRD). This procedure involves removing contaminants and waste products from the blood and urine that the kidneys are unable to handle.

Careful deliberation is required before making any medical decisions, but dialysis is especially delicate.

Several factors must be examined when deciding whether or not dialysis treatment should be continued. Prioritize the patient’s desires; if they are no longer able to communicate, take into account their stated preferences from the past.

Second, the patient’s quality of life must be considered; dialysis may not be necessary if the patient is in constant agony or is unable to lead a “normal” life due to their illness.

The prognosis for Peritoneal Dialysis vs Hemodialysis

While hemodialysis requires repeated visits to a dialysis clinic, peritoneal dialysis just requires a catheter to be put in the patient’s abdomen, making it less intrusive than conventional dialysis.

In contrast to hemodialysis, which requires the assistance of a trained professional, peritoneal dialysis can be performed at home by the patient themselves.

The outcomes of dialysis are also not uniform; while one study revealed that peritoneal dialysis had a better survival rate than hemodialysis, this may rely on the patient’s overall health and medical condition.

Choosing the right dialysis method is a medically complex decision that should be undertaken in coordination with a healthcare provider.


For more information on Peritoneal Dialysis vs Hemodialysis, you can contact our healthcare expert today at +1 (817) 748-0200. You can also make an online appointment with us.

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