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Date: 18 October 2021

Time: 02:06

Photo: dialysis

What is dialysis?

Dialysis is a procedure to remove waste products and excess fluid from the blood when the kidneys stop working properly.

What is haemodialysis?

Haemodialysis is the most common type of dialysis and the one most people are aware of. It involves diverting blood to a dialysis machine to be cleaned.

During haemodialysis, a tube is attached to a needle in the arm, which is connected to a machine. Blood passes along the tube and into an external machine that filters it, before it's passed back into the arm along another tube.

Dialysis is usually carried out three days a week, with each session lasting around four hours. 

What is peritoneal dialysis?

Peritoneal dialysis uses the inside of your own abdominal lining (peritoneum) as a natural filter to clear waste products from the blood as it passes through the abdomen.

Peritoneal dialysis involves a catheter (a plastic tube) being placed into the abdomen by surgery. A sterile cleansing fluid (dialysate) is put into the abdominal cavity through this catheter. After the filtering process is finished, the fluid leaves the body through the tube into a pouch.

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