End-stage kidney failure often happens after years of deteriorating kidney function due to chronic kidney disease. At Kidney Health Specialists in Hollywood, Florida, board-certified nephrologist Emilian Cristea, MD, can help you adjust to getting regular dialysis treatments as they replace the function of your kidneys. If you have chronic kidney disease and would like to explore your options for dialysis, call Kidney Health Specialists, or book an appointment online today.
Dialysis is a procedure that performs the function of your kidneys. Under normal circumstances, your kidneys filter waste products from your blood and remove excess salt and fluids. However, chronic kidney disease causes your kidneys to lose their function slowly. You’ll need to undergo regular dialysis if you eventually reach end-stage kidney failure.
You can undergo dialysis either in your home, in a hospital, or at a medical office like Kidney Health Specialists. Dr. Cristea selects a dialysis access, which is an entrance point to your blood vessels. After a minor surgical procedure to facilitate dialysis access, you can undergo your regular dialysis treatments.
During hemodialysis, a machine called a dialyzer removes blood, filters it, and returns it. Another form of dialysis, called peritoneal dialysis, cleans your blood inside your body from your abdominal area.
You’ll need to either get a kidney transplant or start getting regular dialysis once you’ve lost 85-90% of your kidney function due to end-stage kidney failure. If you have chronic kidney disease, Dr. Cristea assesses you regularly and tells you if or when you’ll need to start.
In most cases, you need to get hemodialysis treatments about three times a week for around four hours at a time. However, there is some variance in the amount of time each dialysis session lasts. It depends on:
Dr. Cristea tells you exactly what to expect during your dialysis sessions and exactly how often you’ll need to go. The dialysis process is painless, but it might cause a drop in blood pressure leading to nausea, headaches, or other temporary side effects.
Dialysis is not a cure for chronic kidney disease or end-stage kidney failure. Once you start dialysis, the only way to stop getting it regularly is to get a kidney transplant. You can go for years or even decades without functioning kidneys as long as you’re getting dialysis regularly to continuously filter waste and fluid from your blood.
Dialysis is a long-term treatment that can take the place of a kidney transplant, which is often hard to obtain. To find out more about the dialysis process, call Kidney Health Specialists, or schedule an appointment online today.