The hemodialysis procedure is completed in a hospital or dialysis center three times a week. Each session lasts between 3 and 5 hours. You can also do home hemodialysis, though the schedule varies. You can do four sessions a week for 4 hours each, five 3-hour sessions, or six 8-hour overnight sessions.
Despite the numerous benefits of this dialysis procedure, there might be, although rare, side effects. These may include low blood pressure, nausea, dizziness, chest or back pain, muscle cramps, itchy skin, and headaches.
Another option is peritoneal dialysis, which is done at home. A few weeks before dialysis begins, a catheter is permanently inserted through the belly and into the peritoneum.
During dialysis, the catheter connects to a branch of a Y-shaped tube with a solution bag on the other end. The tube sends the solution into the peritoneal cavity. When the bag is empty, the tube is disconnected, and the catheter is capped. The patient then continues with their day.
The solution absorbs the waste and extra fluids the kidneys would normally remove. After 60 to 90 minutes, the Y-shaped tube is reattached, and the fluid drains through the second branch into an empty bag. The peritoneal dialysis procedure is repeated up to four times each day.
There are a few mild side effects of peritoneal dialysis, though these are very mild. The solution creates a bloated or full feeling in the belly, which can be uncomfortable. The stomach may also become distended due to excess fluid.