Learning About Dialysis - Treatment Options

Your first day on in-center hemodialysis

Your first day of dialysis can be a bit scary if you don’t know exactly what will happen. When you walk into your dialysis center for the first time, it may make you feel more comfortable if you know what to expect from your dialysis treatment and your health care team. Calm your nerves by learning what you can generally expect on your first day of treatment.

What is hemodialysis?

Hemodialysis is a treatment for end stage renal disease (ESRD), or kidney failure, in which blood is removed from the body, filtered through an artificial kidney and then the cleaned blood is returned to the body. In Trinidad & Tobago, hemodialysis is the most common treatment for people who have kidney failure. Learn how hemodialysis works and the advantages and disadvantages of this renal replacement therapy.

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What happens if someone stops dialysis?

Every person with end stage renal disease (ESRD) has the right to stop or not start dialysis. Without dialysis or a kidney transplant, once a patient reaches complete kidney failure life can usually be maintained for anywhere from a few days to several weeks. For the patient, the decision not to dialyze should be an informed and voluntary choice. For family and friends of the person with kidney failure, the decision not to have treatment may be difficult to understand. However, with advance planning, patients can spend their last days how and where they choose.

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What dialysis can and cannot do

When people hear dialysis is a treatment for kidney failure they sometimes think dialysis can do everything a healthy kidney can do. Learn what dialysis can and can’t do and how medications work with dialysis to replace healthy kidney function.

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What are my dialysis choices?

When people find out they need dialysis, they may not be aware that several types of dialysis are available to fit their health and lifestyle needs. If you just found out you need dialysis to treat kidney failure, or if you are on dialysis and would like to explore other modality options, learn more about the dialysis modalities and what each one may offer you.

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Switching dialysis treatment

Are you doing peritoneal dialysis and wonder if you can switch to hemodialysis? Or are you on hemodialysis and curious if peritoneal dialysis would be right for you? Many people with end stage renal disease (ESRD) have thought about switching treatment programs, whether it was for medical or lifestyle needs. Learn more about switching dialysis treatments and decide whether or not making a change would be right for you.

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