Hemodialysis is the most effective and commonly used process to treat patients who suffer from kidney failure or end-stage renal disease. Hemodialysis is a method to clean your blood out of your body using a dialysis machine. The machine has a special filter that is called a dialyzer. The dialyzer performs as an artificial kidney. Because a kidney failure patient’s kidney cannot work properly, the patient needs dialysis to help the kidney clean the blood. It can strain the toxins and remove extra fluid like your kidney. However, the dialyzer cannot replace your kidney’s function. Your kidney works 24 hours a day for you. The process takes a few hours day, few days a week. During a treatment, the blood is carried through plastic tubes from the access on your body to the dialyzer to be cleaned.
The dialyzer cleans the blood and sends the blood to your body through another plastic tube. This is a cycling process. Your blood is cleaned out of your body. You may worry about there is much blood out of your body. But in fact, there is only a cup of blood in the dialyzer and tube at any time during your treatment.
Dialysis treatment is normally done 3 times one week. Each time is normally 4 hours. How long the treatment is due to your nephrologist’s prescription. The time may depend on your medical condition, laboratory results and your body size. Most kidney failure patients can stay healthy when they spend the prescribed time on dialysis, take prescribed medications, and follow the renal diet. Before dialysis can be done, a connection must be made to the blood inside your blood vessels. This is called hemodialysis access or vascular access, which is a way to reach your blood for hemodialysis and allows your blood to travel through tubes to your dialyzer.
All in all, hemodialysis is a mature method used to treat kidney disease.