The kidneys are a major organ because they work to filter blood and rid the body of waste. Kidney failure is a serious problem and can be caused by a number of things, including dehydration, irregular blood flow to the kidneys, diabetes and kidney stones. There are two types of kidney failure treatment: dialysis and kidney transplant. A healthcare professional will take into consideration the patient's symptoms, kidney function and medical well-being when deciding which kidney failure treatment is right for him or her.
There are two different types of dialysis, called hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Hemodialysis involves the use of a soft tube to filter the blood through the body to a dialyzer, or an artificial kidney, which cleans the blood and then filters it back into the body. This type of treatment may be done at home, in a hospital or at a special center. The frequency of treatment can vary from three times per week to six times per week and might be done while the patient is sleeping.
In the second form of dialysis, peritoneal dialysis, treatment is delivered internally. Dialysate, a blood-cleaning fluid, is inserted into the abdomen through a catheter. The fluid cleanses waste and excess fluid from the blood, is drained from the body and is then replaced, providing the patient with constant kidney failure treatment.
Two treatment options are available for peritoneal dialysis: continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) and continuous cycling peritoneal dialysis (CCPD). With CAPD, the patient changes the fluid himself or herself four to six times a day. With CCPD, the patient hooks up to a machine, which empties and refills the fluid. This type of treatment is less intrusive than hemodialysis in that it can be done anywhere, giving the patient more freedom.
The other option for kidney failure treatment is a kidney transplant. In this procedure, an operation is performed to remove the unhealthy kidney from the patient and replace it with a healthy kidney from a donor. After the surgery has been performed, the recipient will be prescribed medication that must be taken to ensure that his or her body doesn't reject the new kidney.