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The Basics Of Hemodialysis

While most people have heard of the tern dialysis when it comes to kidney health, most do not know that there are actually two types – hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Dialysis is used to replace the functions of the kidneys that no longer work. This means that often it comes down to a case-by-case scenario for deciding the best course of treatment. Often, this includes implementing hemodialysis. 

Learning The Basics of Hemodialysis 

Your kidneys can face challenges that require specific treatments and considerations. At Durham Nephrology, we take the time to learn your case to ensure you are cared for correctly. Learn more from our team and get your kidney health journey started today. 

What is hemodialysis?

Hemodialysis is the version of dialysis that works by filtering waste and water from the blood in the body. This takes over the responsibility with this that the kidneys had not been able to accomplish. 

Who receives hemodialysis? 

This is for people who are suffering from issues with kidney function. As is the case for anyone who requires dialysis, it is considered for those who are dealing with the specific issues that hemodialysis confronts.

What are the risks?

As is the case with most medical procedures, there are risks. Most of the problems encountered with hemodialysis are a result of vascular access. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the two main problems that appear are an infection or blockage at the vascular access point. Both of these are important to treat right away if they become prevalent in the patient.  

How do you prepare for it? 

Preparing for hemodialysis is an important part of the process. Even before you start hemodialysis, it is helpful to pay attention to the health of the blood vessels in the arm. The process requires those veins to accomplish their job, so they have to be healthy enough to support the IV.  

What happens during the procedure? 

During a hemodialysis procedure, a machine called a dialyzer filters the blood in the body. Two needles are attached to your arm to give the blood a way to reach the machine. This machine is outside the body, meaning the process occurs in the room rather than as an internal system like the kidneys had done previously. As the blood enters the machine, the dialysis solution is also moving through fibers in the opposite direction. The waste moves into the dialysis solution. As the waste leaves, the filtered blood moves back into the body. 

What are the results? 

Once hemodialysis has taken place, patients can begin to see the benefits of the procedure. This can look like different things depending on your specific case. Often, patients feel like they have gained back the energy they had been lacking from the inconsistent kidney function. This can also present itself in less swelling and a better feeling of being able to catch your breath.  

When your kidney function declines, there are ways to combat the circumstances that come with it. Hemodialysis is a great option to consider and can bring about helpful results. After treatments, you can start to feel that energy return to your life. Are you looking for a place to begin hemodialysis treatments? Durham Nephrology is here to help and provide you with the care you’ve been searching for. Check out our website or give us a call at (919) 477-3005 to book your appointment today!  

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