What is peritoneal dialysis

What is peritoneal dialysis

What is peritoneal dialysis?

  • Peritoneal dialysis is a type of dialysis in which a patients peritoneum is used as the dialysis membrane.
  • The peritoneum is a membrane that covers our intestines inside our abdomen.
  • It is a naturally occurring membrane.
  • In hemodialysis, an artificial membrane is used.
  • In peritoneal dialysis, we take advantage of the semipermeable qualities of a naturally occurring membrane.
  • In peritoneal dialysis, a permanent flexible plastic tube is inserted into the abdomen by a physician.
  • This tube is called the peritoneal dialysis catheter.
  • After the tissues around the tube have healed, the tube is used toinstill dialysate into the abdomen.
  • The dialysate fluid is allowed to remain in the abdomen for several hours.
  • During this time, poisons and toxins leave the blood vessels of the intestine, pass through the peritoneal membrane, and collect in the dialysate fluid.
  • The dialysate is then drained by gravity through the peritoneal dialysis catheter and collected in a bag.
  • The dialysate fluid containing poisons and toxins can then be discarded into a sink drain or toilet.
  • Another bag of dialysate, usually containing 2 liters of fluid is then infused into the abdomen.
  • Each dialysis drainage and infusion is called an exchange because the fluid is removed and replaced. Patients usually perform four exchanges every day.
  • The peritoneal dialysis exchanges are initially done by the peritoneal dialysis nurse.
  • The patient on peritoneal dialysis is then trained over a period of weeks to safely perform the dialysis.
  • The exchanges can be done at home, at work, or in any clean, quiet place because no special machine is required.
  • This form of peritoneal dialysis is called continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis, or CAPD.
  • The continuous means that the dialysis will continue throughout the day.
  • Ambulatory refers to the dialysis being done outside of a hospital or medical facility. CAPD is the most popular form of peritoneal dialysis.