What is Dialysis

The kidneys are a pair of organs, each about the size of a fist, located on either side of your spine. They’re responsible for purifying your blood by removing waste and excess fluid from your body. When the kidneys don’t work properly, dialysis is used to perform the function of the kidneys.

Dialysis is a treatment that filters and purifies the blood using a machine. This helps keep your body in balance when the kidneys can’t do their job. Dialysis has been used since the 1940s to treat people with kidney problems.


Why Dialysis Used?

Properly functioning kidneys prevent extra water, waste, and other impurities from accumulating in your body. They also help control blood pressure and regulate the levels of chemicals in the blood, such as sodium, or salt, and potassium. They even activate a form of vitamin D that improves the absorption of calcium.

When your kidneys can't perform these functions due to disease or injury, dialysis can help keep the body running as normally as possible. Without dialysis, salts and other waste products will accumulate in the blood and poison the body. However, dialysis isn’t a cure for kidney disease or other problems affecting the kidneys. Different treatments may be needed to address those concerns.


How Do I Prepare for Dialysis?

Before your first dialysis treatment, your doctor will surgically implant a tube or device to gain access to your bloodstream. This is typically a quick operation. You should be able to return home the same day.

It's best to wear comfortable clothing during your dialysis treatments. You should also follow your doctor's instructions, which may include fasting for a certain amount of time before the treatment.

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