What is the purpose of kidney dialysis? Kidney dialysis is an effective treatment option for people suffering from kidney failure. Read this article to know about the need for kidney dialysis and how it helps the patient.
The main function of our kidneys is to filter waste materials and excessive fluids present in the blood. Once the kidneys have filtered the blood, the waste materials are stored inside the bladder which excretes the waste fluid in the form of urine. However, if a person is suffering from kidney problems or complete kidney failure, then they are unable to perform these functions, enabling the unfiltered blood to remain in the body causing additional health hazards. This is when kidney dialysis comes into the picture.
The process of kidney dialysis includes artificial filtration of the blood using a dialysis machine. There are mainly four types of procedures, when it comes to kidney dialysis, the Haemodialysis, the Peritoneal Dialysis, Hemofiltration and Hemodiafiltration. All this will be discussed in detail as this article proceeds further.
What is the Purpose of Kidney Dialysis?
The main purpose of kidney dialysis is to perform the function of the kidneys, artificially, using a machine. People usually go for kidney dialysis when they are suffering from a critical condition like end-stage renal disease (ESRD). In this situation, the kidneys are completely damaged and can no longer do what they are supposed to do. In haemodialysis, the dialysis is done by inserting a needle into the blood vessel, the needle already being attached to the dialysis machine with the help of a tube.
Once that is done, the blood is transferred from the blood vessel and stored into the dialysis machine where it is filtered. Once the waste materials and fluids have been extracted, the filtered blood is again sent back to the body. This is considered to be the most commonly used technique for kidney dialysis. The other type of approach is known as the peritoneal dialysis wherein the blood is filtered using the peritoneum membrane inside your abdomen.
A fluid known as dialysate is passed into the peritoneal cavity of the body with the help of a catheter which is attached inside the abdomen by making an incision. Then the blood vessels present in the peritoneum filters the blood and passes on the waste materials to the dialysis fluid which is then drained out via the catheter. The next approach is the hemofiltration wherein a device known as a hemofilter is used as a dialyzer and the blood is passed through the hemofilter wherein it filters the waste products and materials and returns the filtered blood back into the body along with certain replacement fluids.
The replacement fluids helps in balancing the electrolytes lost in the process. And last but not the least, the other type of approach is known as the hemodialfiltration, which is a combination of hemodialysis and hemofiltration.
After understanding the process and the different approaches, you would have understood that the purpose of kidney dialysis is nothing else but to carry out the process of filtration, even if the kidneys are no longer able to perform that function. Although there are various complications associated with kidney dialysis, like fatigue, weakness, anemia, sleeping problems, fluid accumulation and so on, it still is considered to be a better option over not going for it at all. Apart from performing the kidney function, some doctors also advice to go for a kidney dialysis in case of poisoning or drug overdose so that the excess drug or poison can be drained out of the system.
Though the process of kidney dialysis is designed to perform the basic functions of the kidneys, it cannot be considered as the perfect substitute for kidneys, as there are a lot of other important functions that the kidneys perform. These include regulating blood pressure and maintaining the acid balance in the body. The patients going for kidney dialysis also have to take special care of themselves in terms of their diet, lifestyle and self hygiene in order to effectively manage their disease and health. Therefore, it is very important for such people to speak to their doctors about the individual case and follow their doctor’s advice like the Bible! Take care.