How does hemodialysis help patients with kidney failure?
Kidneys are known for cleaning the blood and removing waste from our body in the form of urine. Kidneys also produce substances that make the body healthy. While dialysis can help with cleaning the blood, it does not produce these healthy substances. Dialysis are of 2 types- hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Let’s know in depth about hemodialysis.
What is hemodialysis?
Haemodialysis helps the patients with kidney failure. In this procedure a filter or an artificial kidney is used to clean the blood. The doctor makes an access to the blood via the blood vessels with a minor surgery in the arm.
When is hemodialysis needed?
When your body has a high level of waste percentage. This happens when the kidneys don’t function well and only 10-15 percent of the kidney is functional. You may experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, swelling and fatigue. Though these symptoms are common, some may not experience any symptoms. In such cases the doctor can best diagnose the problem with the kidneys.
How does the dialyzer work?
The dialyzer has 2 parts which are separated by a thin membrane. One part holds the blood while the other part holds a fluid known as dialysate. Smaller waste like urea, creatinine, potassium and extra fluids pass through the membrane and are washed away, while the essential nutrients such as blood cells, protein and other important elements stay in the blood.
Where is hemodialysis performed?
Hemodialysis can be performed at a hospital, at any dialysis centre or home. There are many renowned nephrologists in India, but we suggest doing it in Kerala because they have some of the best nephrologists in Ernakulam, who are trained internationally and experts in doing hemodialysis for patients suffering from Kidney failure.
How long does each hemodialysis session last?
The session takes about 4 hours and would be needed 3-4 times in a week depending upon the place. Those who choose to do dialysis at home can shorten the per session time and get more frequent sessions like 4-7 in a week.
The amount of dialysis that is required depends upon the condition of the kidneys. The doctor prescribes the amount of dialysis and routine blood tests are done every month to check the level of urea in the blood. There are two tests that are conducted, urea reduction ratio ( URR) or Kt/V.
- The level of URR should be 65 percent
- Kt/v should be 1.2
Can dialysis cure kidney problems?
Incase of sudden kidney failure, dialysis can help till the kidneys become better and can function on it’s own. But incase of chronic kidney failure, dialysis is the only way to clean the body waste until kidney transplant is done.
What kind of diet should be taken by those undergoing dialysis?
Those who are undergoing dialysis should take more protein dense food and limit the intake of potassium, phosphorus, and sodium. The fluid intake in the body should also be limited.
Those patients who are suffering from diabetes would have additional restrictions on food.
Your dietary goals are monitored by the dialysis care team by taking blood tests from time to time.
Is the dialyzer reused?
The dialyzer can be reused but prior to that the dialysis centre cleans the dialyzer carefully as per the guidelines. After proper cleaning the dialyzer is safe to be reused.
A testing needs to be done to understand that the dialyzer is functioning every time before use. If not, the dialyzer needs to be replaced.
You can also opt for a new dialyzer every time and the centre would be provided with the same.
Can a dialysis patient travel or work?
Depending upon your work type, you can continue or discontinue your job. If your job requires lifting heavy loads or strenuous activity, you will have to leave it. Similarly in terms of travel, it is only possible if the place you’re visiting has a dialysis centre and you can arrange for the sessions as directed by your doctor.
Patients who are suffering from acute kidney failure need to consult with the doctor immediately and start with the dialysis treatment before a successful kidney transplantation is done. If you have already visited a nephrologist and are seeking a second opinion from an expert, consider consulting these best nephrologists in Ernakulam. They will help you in understanding the problem in much detail and if possible they will also suggest you for an alternate treatment or medications