How the Peritoneal Dialysis process works
PD actually cleans your blood and removes extra fluids using one of your body's own natural filters, the peritoneal membrane. The peritoneal membrane is the lining that surrounds the peritoneal cavity, which is in your abdomen and contains your stomach, spleen, liver, and intestines. During the PD process (usually called an exchange), a solution is placed in the peritoneum through a catheter and the peritoneal membrane acts as a filter and draws waste and fluids from your blood into the solution. Once the solution is full of waste, it’s drained through the catheter and exchanged with a fresh solution.
There are two types of Peritoneal Dialysis
1. Automated Peritoneal Dialysis (APD) or CCPD
APD is usually done overnight, with a cycler machine that performs exchanges automatically, while you sleep. APD is good for people who want more freedom from dialysis during the day. Since you may not have to do exchanges during the day, APD can help you have flexibility with your daytime routine.
2. Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD)
CAPD cleans your blood most hours of the day, 7 days a week. And you can walk around, even during exchanges. Exchanges usually take about 30 minutes, commonly 4 times a day and only require a solution bag with tubing attached to it that connects to your catheter. The fluid from the solution bag "dwells" in your abdomen for about 4-6 hours, drawing waste products and excess fluid from the bloodstream. An exchange can be performed in any clean area - at home, work or while traveling.
Peritoneal Dialysis - Helpful Features
PD provides continuous therapy. It also offers a more flexible lifestyle and allows you to maintain your independence. You can even do your therapy overnight while you sleep. And since you don’t have to travel to a dialysis unit for treatment, you and your healthcare team may want to reduce your clinical visits.
PD maintains residual kidney function
PD helps preserve a patient's residual kidney function1,2
. If you still have some residual kidney function and are interested in a kidney transplant, PD may be a good option. In fact, PD patients have been shown to be more likely to have a transplant when compared to HD patients3
PD helps preserve access to your veins
It may happen that over a number of years on dialysis, you may need to use multiple types of therapy. That's why it's important to keep your options for access open. Because PD is administered through a catheter in your abdominal cavity, your veins are not involved in the therapy and the integrity of the veins can be preserved.
PD requires training and space in your home
With PD, you have to be responsible to do your treatment every day as you were trained. PD patients must maintain a clean environment according to how they were trained by their PD nurse and need space in the home for dialysis supplies.