By the time a chronic kidney disease that requires dialysis is diagnosed, many patients have already been through a lot. What begins as nausea, fatigue, swelling and vomiting quickly escalates to the treatment stage, which often requires a kidney transplant and hemodialysis. While hemodialysis is effective at removing toxins from the blood stream, it can be a burdensome process. That's why more and more doctors are advocating for automated peritoneal dialysis, an in-home alternative to the traditional treatment.
"Most patients who receive hemodialysis do so in a dialysis center, which they must visit at least three times a week for three to four hours at a time," said Dr. Yaakov Liss, a nephrologist at CareMount Medical. In addition to being time-consuming, center-based dialysis treatments are tiresome for a patient's family as well, and they prohibit a normal schedule for all involved. "This is why I’m pleased that another dialysis option has been growing in popularity and availability; it's an at-home dialysis treatments that patients can perform while they sleep," said Liss.
Known as automated peritoneal dialysis (APD), this at-home process removes bodily waste products through a special machine called a cycler. This system can be set up to perform dialysis in an ongoing fashion throughout the night while a patient sleeps. "APD works while making just a quiet hum and can even continue working uninterrupted if the patient needs to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom," said Liss.
"Although dialysis cannot cure kidney disease, APD offers many distinct advantages, allowing patients to remain more independent, keep their regular jobs, and feel less disabled," said Liss. "In short, it offers a way for dialysis to fit into their lives – and doesn’t force their lives to fit into their dialysis schedule."
If you or a loved one requires dialysis treatments, speak to your doctor to determine the most appropriate type. To learn more about the services provided by CareMount Medical, click here.