Home Dialysis - Peritoneal Dialysis
Peritoneal dialysis (PD) uses the peritoneum, a natural membrane that lines the cavity of the abdomen. The membrane has tiny holes and acts as a filter. Waste products and fluid from the blood can cross through it.
Dialysis fluid flows into the peritoneal cavity through a small, soft plastic tube, called a PD catheter. The catheter is inserted into the abdomen during a minor operation. About 6 inches of this tube remains outside the abdomen and under your clothing, providing a means for attaching the bags of dialysis fluid. Excess water and waste products from the blood are drawn across the peritoneal membrane into the dialysis fluid. The fluid is changed every few hours. This process is called an exchange. Your doctor will prescribe how many exchanges you will do each day and the amount and type of dialysis fluid (dialysate) you will use.
Excess fluid and waste products are removed during the time that there is dialysate in your peritoneal cavity. If your peritoneal cavity is empty the excess fluid and waste products are not removed. It is important to follow your peritoneal dialysis prescription and do all of the exchanges as you are instructed.
"All I can say is that when my father went on to PD, it gave him his life back." - Mrs S Reilly
May 1, 2006