Dialysis is a life-saving treatment for people with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) that helps filter waste and excess fluid from the blood. It's typically done at a dialysis center, but did you know that you can also get dialysis at home? That's right, home dialysis is a viable option for many people with ESRD and it can offer a lot of benefits.
There are two types of home dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Hemodialysis uses a machine to filter your blood, while peritoneal dialysis uses the lining of your abdomen to filter your blood. Both methods can be done at home, but they require different equipment and training.
Hemodialysis at home requires a machine called a home hemodialysis machine, a water treatment system, and supplies such as tubing and needles. You'll also need to have a dedicated space in your home for the equipment, and you'll need to be trained on how to use the machine and clean it. Home hemodialysis typically requires more time and effort than in-center hemodialysis, but it does offer more flexibility in terms of scheduling and it can allow people to have more independence and control over their own care.
Peritoneal dialysis, on the other hand, uses a special solution that is infused into the abdominal cavity through a tube called a catheter. The solution absorbs waste and excess fluid, which is then drained out of the body. With peritoneal dialysis, you'll need to be trained on how to do the exchanges (fill and drain the solution), and you'll need to have a clean and dedicated space in your home to do the exchanges. The procedure is less time-consuming and you have more freedom to travel.
Home dialysis does require a significant commitment from you and your family, but it can offer many benefits. For example, you'll have more control over your treatment schedule and you'll be able to spend more time at home with your loved ones. Additionally, home dialysis can lead to better blood pressure control, fewer hospitalizations, and an overall better quality of life.
If you're interested in home dialysis, talk to your nephrologist (kidney doctor) about whether it's a good option for you. They'll be able to answer any questions you may have and help you decide if home dialysis is right for you. In addition, they will guide you on the necessary training, supplies, and equipment required.
Home dialysis is a viable option for many people with ESRD and it can offer a lot of benefits. It allows more flexibility in terms of scheduling and it can allow people to have more independence and control over their own care. Talk to your nephrologist and explore if it's a suitable option for you.