Treatment Options

There are different ways to treat kidney failure including hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, and kidney transplantation. One of these options might be a good fit for your lifestyle and medical needs now or in the future.


Hemodialysis (HD)

Hemodialysis involves a machine and special filter, or artificial kidney, which cleans your blood. In order to have hemodialysis, your surgeon will need to create an access, or entrance, to your bloodstream.


In-center hemodialysis is usually done 3 times a week for 3 to 5 hours. Some dialysis centers may offer nocturnal and daily dialysis .


Conventional home hemodialysis requires you to have a partner, and allows you to do dialysis at home 3 times a week for 3 to5 hours.


Daily home hemodialysis also requires you to have a partner. The method of dialysis involves shorter treatment times for 5 to 7 days a week.


Nocturnal home hemodialysis requires a partner, and allows you to do dialysis 3 to 6 nights a week while you sleep.


Peritoneal Dialysis (PD)

Peritoneal dialysis (PD) uses the inner lining of your abdomen (the peritoneum) as a dialysis filter. The peritoneum is lined with tiny blood vessels. Wastes and extra water in your blood can flow out of these blood vessels, through the peritoneum and into special fluid that you put into your abdomen. Then you drain the fluid and the wastes out of your body.


Kidney Transplant

A kidney transplant is the surgical placement of a healthy human kidney into the body of a person with kidney failure. The transplanted organ restores kidney function, improving the quality of life for the patient.

Many people think of a kidney transplant as the absolute cure for kidney failure, and though a transplant does improve the quality of life and life expectancy, it is considered a treatment rather than a cure.


Choosing No Treatment

You have the right to decide not to start or to stop treatment at any time. Speak with your family, friends, doctor and/or social worker about this option.


Other Treatment Option Resources