The kidneys play a vital role in bodily function by removing waste and extra water from the blood, which forms urine. When your kidneys no longer work, dialysis can replace some of its functions. Hemodialysis is one of two types of dialysis available.
Using a machine with a specialized filter called an artificial kidney (or a dialyzer), hemodialysis works to clean your blood. In order to get your blood into the dialyzer, minor surgery is required to make an access into your blood vessels–typically to your arm.
How Hemodialysis Works
The artificial kidney separates your blood into two parts. Your blood cells, proteins and other important components remain in your blood because they are too large to pass through the thin membrane in the machine. The smaller waste products in your blood are then passed through the membrane and washed away using a fluid called dialysate. These include urea, creatinine, potassium, and extra fluid. The cleansed blood is then returned to your body.
How Often is Hemodialysis Needed?
Hemodialysis patients typically receive treatment three (3) times per week for roughly 4 hours each time. Treatment at the right frequency as determined by your dialysis care team based on your individual lab work can improve your overall health, keep you out of the hospital, and help you live a longer and higher quality life.
Durham Nephrology Associates treats patients at six dialysis centers located throughout Durham and Granville counties. Our physicians also care for hospitalized patients at Durham Regional Hospital and Granville Medical Center.
For more information about hemodialysis or other available treatment options, call (919) 477-3005 to schedule an appointment today.