Hemodialysis is a way to clean blood with a type of artificial kidney—a dialyzer filter within a machine. Blood is pumped through the dialyzer filter to remove extra water and waste products and is then pumped back into the body. Hemodialysis is done three times a week at a dialysis center.
What is peritoneal dialysis?
Peritoneal dialysis also cleans the blood, but in a different way than hemodialysis. The patient does peritoneal dialysis at home. Peritoneal dialysis uses the space in the abdomen called the peritoneal cavity. The abdominal cavity is lined with a membrane called the peritoneum. The peritoneum acts as a dialyzer for blood.
How does peritoneal dialysis work?
A special fluid called dialysate is put in the peritoneum where it stays for several hours. Waste products and extra water move through the peritoneal membrane into the dialysate. Then the dialysate is exchanged (drained and replaced) with fresh dialysate.
There are two types of peritoneal dialysis. One is called continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) and exchanges are done during the day. The other is called continuous cycling peritoneal dialysis (CCPD) and the exchanges are done with a machine at night.
For more information, call the Mercyhealth Dialysis Center in Janesville at (608) 741-3814.