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What can I expect from hemodialysis?

Hemodialysis helps the body eliminate waste and excess water from your blood.

As a hemodialysis patient, being well informed and understanding what’s involved with your dialysis treatment can help ease your mind and help you accept your condition. Being fully prepared will make your hemodialysis go as smoothly as possible with your care team. The aim of this procedure is to help you enjoy a healthier and longer life. Hemodialysis is also useful for patients who wait for a kidney transplant. This procedure takes less time than peritoneal dialysis: typically, there are three sessions per week, each one lasting 3-5 hours. Between the sessions, you should maintain a particular type of diet that will minimize the buildup of waste and water. Your doctor will provide you with all the indications you need to follow from a dietary standpoint.

Essential things to know about hemodialysis

What does dialysis do? - hemodialysis is performed using an artificial kidney called hemodialyzer. In the case of kidney failure, the patient’s body is kept in balance by dialysis, which:

  • removes waste and extra water from the body
  • keeps a safe level of certain chemicals in the blood, such as sodium, potassium, and bicarbonate
  • helps to control blood pressure

Will it cure my kidneys? Dialysis does some of the work, but it does not cure kidney disease.

Can I have a normal life after dialysis?

You may experience fatigue during the first several months of treatment and you will need someone to drive you to and from each dialysis session. When you feel well enough, you may be able to drive yourself or take public transportation. Usually, patients live normal lives and can go back to work; the exception is the time needed for hemodialysis treatments.

Once every month, your dialysis team will draw your blood for lab tests to compare the results with the previous test results to monitor your dialysis treatment.

Disclaimer: We do not assume responsibility for the use of the provided information or its interpretation. Our efforts are towards providing current and reliable information; however these should not be considered, or used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment.

Source: https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Education/Medical-Library/