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Home Dialysis

Home dialysis offers you many treatment options, depending on your health needs and lifestyle goals. There are two home dialysis treatments — peritoneal dialysis (PD) and home hemodialysis (HHD) — and several types of PD and HHD.

Types of peritoneal dialysis:

  • Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis
  • Continuous cycling peritoneal dialysis/automated peritoneal dialysis

Types of home hemodialysis:

  • Conventional home hemodialysis
  • Frequent home hemodialysis
  • Nocturnal home hemodialysis

No matter which home dialysis treatment you use, you will be well trained and will have a lot of support from professional dialysis staff during monthly visits and by phone whenever you have questions.

Benefits of Dialysis at Home

  • Lower infection rates
  • More control over your treatments and treatment times
  • Easier to work outside the home — you can dialyze on your own schedule
  • Easier to travel — you can bring your hemodialysis machine with you and ship supplies anywhere in the U.S.
  • Fewer limits on diet and liquids — shorter time between sessions prevents waste and extra fluid buildup
  • More time to spend with loved ones and doing other things you enjoy
  • Better clinical outcomes and quality of life

Peritoneal Dialysis

“I make the rules. I choose the time and place for my dialysis.”
— Network 16 peritoneal dialysis patient

Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is primarily done at home and does not require needles. Instead, it is done through a catheter (a soft, flexible tube) that is placed in your belly in a space called the peritoneal cavity.

During PD, a sterile fluid called dialysate flows through the catheter into your belly. The lining of your belly (the peritoneum) acts as a natural filter to remove waste and fluids from your blood. After the dialysate is in your belly for a set period of time (called dwell time), the waste fluid is drained out of your belly and discarded. The peritoneum is refilled with clean fluid and the cleaning process begins again.

Peritoneal dialysis is gentler on the body than other types of dialysis and works well for people with more active lifestyles. It can be done at home, at work or even while travelling. Most people can do PD by themselves, but a care partner can also be trained to assist.

There are two types of PD:

  • Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis
  • Continuous cycling peritoneal dialysis/automated peritoneal dialysis

Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis

Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) is a form of PD where you perform fluid exchanges manually (by hand) three to five times a day. Each exchange typically takes about 30 minutes and uses gravity to fill and drain the dialysate. Also known as walking around dialysis, CAPD is a flexible treatment that you can adapt to your schedule.

Continuous Cycling Peritoneal Dialysis/Automated Peritoneal Dialysis

Continuous cycling peritoneal dialysis (CCPD)/automated peritoneal dialysis (APD) is form of PD that uses a machine called a cycler. The cycler automatically performs fluid exchanges for you — typically at night while you are sleeping. CCPD/APD allows you to have your days free.

Home Hemodialysis

“Home dialysis works for me because I am in the comfort of my own home. I can change my schedule at will — and I love being independent.”
— Network 16 home hemodialysis patient

Hemodialysis removes waste products, electrolytes and fluid from your blood using a machine that pumps your blood through an artificial kidney called a dialyzer.

Home hemodialysis (HHD) is similar to in-center dialysis, but it is done by you and/or a care partner in the comfort of your home. Your dialysis facility provides you with a home hemodialysis machine that you connect to through a dialysis access (a port that allows your blood to move to the dialysis machine and back) and a special chair. Most facilities require you to have a trained care partner for HHD.

Home hemodialysis lets you set your own schedule and dialyze more often than in-center dialysis.

There are three types of HHD:

  • Conventional home hemodialysis
  • Frequent home hemodialysis
  • Nocturnal home hemodialysis

Conventional Home Hemodialysis

Conventional home hemodialysis is done three times per week for three to four hours.

Frequent Home Hemodialysis

Frequent — or daily — home hemodialysis is done five to seven times per week for two to four hours.

Nocturnal Home Hemodialysis

Nocturnal home hemodialysis is done at night while you sleep, three to six nights per week. It is slower, takes more time and is gentler on the body than conventional home hemodialysis. Some facilities also offer in-center nocturnal dialysis.

Home Dialysis Resources