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DIALYSIS

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Dialysis Centres in Bellandur near me | Nelivigi Multispeciality Hospital

It is a process in which a machine is used to remove impure blood from the body and put back after purifying it . This cleaning up is done by a machine called dialysis machine.

Why is it done?

All of us have two kidneys. They have many functions but the most important one is removal of toxins from the blood. These toxins include ammonia, uric acid, creatinine etc. Kidneys also excrete acid from the body. They are also responsible to maintain sodium and potassium levels in the body. If for any reason the kidneys are damaged, this job has to be done by a machine. This artificial method is known as dialysis and the machine is called dialysis machine.

How is dialysis done?

The patient will have to be assessed by a nephrologist to ascertain that he/she needs to undergo dialysis.

The next step is inserting a tube in the neck. This tube, called as hemodialysis catheter is connected to the dialysis machine. The impure blood from the body goes to the machine which filters it and removes its impurities. This is then sent back to the patient. During this process toxins, acid and excess water is removed from the body. This process takes about 3-4 hours per session and is done in the hospital after which the patient can go home.

How often the patient needs to undergo dialysis? Is it true that once a patient is initiated on dialysis he has to be on permanent dialysis?

Dialysis is broadly done in two settings. An acute setting where the dialysis is done on a temporary basis and is discontinued when the kidneys recover. Typically this may involve a few days of dialysis. The second setting is when the dialysis is done on a permanent basis where the kidneys are irreversibly damaged. Here the dialysis is done two to three times a week .When the dialysis is done on a permanent basis, the doctor will advise the patient to undergo a surgery  called AV fistula wherein the vein and artery of the upper limb are joined together to ensure effective and long term dialysis.

What are the complications of dialysis?

Patients may have low blood pressure, fever, infections, weakness, chronic anemia, bleeding from the site where needles are poked, sodium and potassium abnormalities, muscle cramps and other complications. Generally the patients tolerate them well and the dialysis can be continued after treating the problems.

What are the types of dialysis?

The type of dialysis mentioned above is called hemodialysis. As mentioned above, this dialysis is either done through a tube in the neck or the thigh by exchanging pure and impure blood through the machine.

The other type of dialysis is called peritoneal dialysis wherein a tube is placed in the abdominal cavity and a fluid called dialysate fluid is filled in the abdomen. It is kept there for a few hours. This absorbs the toxins from the abdomen after which it is discarded. Each session may take 3-4 hours during which multiple such exchanges are made. This involves no machine. Therefore it can be done even in home if the patient takes care of the hygiene.

Which is better-hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis?

There are  pros and cons of each method. Hemodialysis is the more common method because it is time tested, machines are easily available and it can be done in most medium sized hospitals. There are well trained technicians too. However the patient will have to visit the hospital two or three times a week and this means days off from work for the patient and the person who accompanies him. Moreover there are wide differences in the quality of standards and safety. Also it is not a safe method in those with significant blood pressure and heart problems.

Peritoneal dialysis on the other hand can be done at home by the patient himself at a time convenient to him even in the night. However it is more expensive and if hygienic precautions are not maintained,  it can lead to severe abdominal infection. Sometimes the catheter can get blocked and may need to be removed.

Can a patient on dialysis lead a healthy and normal life?

Patients on dialysis can lead a healthy life but as it involves repeated visits to the hospital, the quality of life is compromised especially if the person is young and employed. Also over  a period of 5-10 years, he will face many medical complications like repeated infections, anemia, fatigue etc. Moreover dialysis is not a good option in children because of severe hormonal problems due to kidney disease cannot be compensated by dialysis. Therefore considering everything, kidney transplantation is a better option .