Hemodialysis can be completed at a dialysis center or in the comfort of your own home.
The key differences are that at a dialysis center, treatment is performed by a nurse or technician at a pre-scheduled time, whereas at home you are solely responsible and may better be able to fit the treatments into your daily routine.
The three types of hemodialysis that can be performed at home are:
- Conventional home hemodialysis is done three times a week for 3-4 hours or longer each time. Through training over the course of several weeks or up to a few months, you and/or your care partner are trained to do dialysis safely and handle any problems that may arise.
- Short, daily home hemodialysis is done five to seven times a week for two hours each using a machine specifically designed for short, daily at-home treatment. Training may take several weeks. Because you are doing dialysis more often, usually less fluid is removed each time which reduces adverse symptoms like headaches, nausea and fatigue.
- Noctural home hemodialysis are long, slow treatments that are done at night while you sleep. Depending on what your doctor prescribes, this is usually done as often as six nights a week or every other night for six to eight hours at a time. Training may take several weeks. Because you are completing more hours of dialysis each week, this method can result in more waste removal.
It is also possible to combine daily and nocturnal home hemodialysis depending on your medical condition, needs and the type of machine available to you. When it comes to any type of dialysis, the most important thing is that you are getting the right amount.
For more information about whether you are a good candidate for home hemodialysis, call (919) 477-3005 to schedule an appointment with Durham Nephrology today.