Peritoneal Dialysis: A Guide to Understanding This Lifesaving Treatment
When it comes to kidney failure, dialysis is often the best option for those who need to filter waste products and excess fluids from their blood. Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is a type of dialysis that uses the lining of the abdomen, called the peritoneum, to filter blood. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at peritoneal dialysis, how it works, and what you can expect if you or a loved one needs this lifesaving treatment.
What is Peritoneal Dialysis?
Peritoneal dialysis is a type of dialysis that uses the peritoneum, a thin membrane that lines the inside of the abdomen, to filter blood. During peritoneal dialysis, a special fluid called dialysate is placed into the abdomen through a catheter. The dialysate draws waste products and excess fluids out of the blood and into the abdomen, where they are then drained out of the body.
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Types of Peritoneal Dialysis
There are two main types of peritoneal dialysis:
Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD)
CAPD is the most common type of peritoneal dialysis. It involves manually filling the abdomen with dialysate several times a day, then draining it out after several hours. CAPD does not require a machine and can be done at home or work.
Continuous Cycling Peritoneal Dialysis (CCPD)
CCPD is a type of peritoneal dialysis that is done using a machine called a cycler. The cycler automatically fills and drains the abdomen with dialysate while the patient sleeps. CCPD is typically done overnight and requires less manual effort than CAPD.
Who Needs Peritoneal Dialysis?
Peritoneal dialysis is typically recommended for patients who have end-stage renal disease (ESRD), a condition in which the kidneys are no longer able to filter waste products and excess fluids from the blood. Peritoneal dialysis can also be used for patients who are waiting for a kidney transplant.
Advantages of Peritoneal Dialysis
There are several advantages to peritoneal dialysis:
- It can be done at home or work, allowing patients to maintain their daily routines.
- It does not require a machine (in the case of CAPD), which can be more convenient for patients who are always on the go.
- It may provide better blood pressure and fluid control compared to hemodialysis, another type of dialysis.
How to Prepare for Peritoneal Dialysis
Before starting peritoneal dialysis, patients will need to have a catheter placed into their abdomen. This is typically done as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia.
Caring for Your Catheter
It’s important to keep the catheter clean and dry to prevent infection. Patients will need to follow strict hygiene protocols and may be instructed to use special antibacterial soap before handling the catheter.
Preparing Your Home
Patients who choose to do peritoneal dialysis at home will need to prepare a clean and sterile area for the procedure. This may involve setting up a dialysis station in a spare room or purchasing a portable dialysis machine.
What to Expect During Peritoneal Dialysis
During CAPD, patients will need to manually fill their abdomen with dialysate several times a day. This involves attaching a bag of dialysate to their catheter and allowing it to drain into their abdomen. After several hours, the patient will drain the dialysate back into the bag and dispose of it.
During CCPD, patients will use a cycler machine to automatically fill and drain their