Dialysis is a process which is used to treat people with severe kidney problems. The term dialysis can literally be broken down into two parts: “dia” which means “through” and “lysis” which means “loosening”. Basically, dialysis is employed when the kidneys cannot function anymore for whatever reasons. The process then provides an alternative to the kidneys.
There are two kinds of dialysis: hermodialysis and Peritoneal dialysis. Both types of dialysis act to remove waste materials and excess water from the person’s blood. The difference lies in how the blood is cleansed.
A patient undergoing hermodialysis needs to go to a hospital or clinic with a dialysis machine. This machine filters the blood externally. This kind of dialysis is, in fact, the kind that most people are familiar with.
On the other hand, a person can have Peritoneal dialysis done at home. In this method, the blood is filtered within the body using the peritoneal membrane, which is located in the abdomen. The procedure works by injecting a glucose-based solution in the abdominal cavity, which serves as the repository for the waste and excess water from the blood. After about two hours, the solution has to be drained via a plug in the abdomen, which has to be previously set up by a doctor. This kind of dialysis can be performed by the patient himself or with a helper. While it is a relatively simple process, it is imperative that painstaking attention is given to the patient during the procedure. Failure to drain the abdominal cavity on time may result in infection and further complications.