Dialysis and kidney transplantation are treatments for severe kidney failure, also called kidney (or renal) failure, stage 5 chronic kidney disease, and end-stage kidney (or renal) disease. There are two types of dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
When the kidneys are no longer working effectively, waste products, electrolytes, and fluid build up in the blood. Dialysis takes over a portion of the function of the failing kidneys to remove the fluid and waste products. Kidney transplantation can more completely take over the function of the failing kidneys.
This article discusses these therapies, including the advantages, disadvantages, and care required for kidney transplantation and dialysis. You and your family should discuss all of the options with your healthcare provider to make an informed decision.
It is hemodialysis has clear advantages over the other type of dialysis (peritoneal dialysis) in terms of survival. You should begin with the type of dialysis that you and your doctors think is best, although it is possible to switch to another type as circumstances and preferences change.
Low blood pressure is the most common complication of hemodialysis and can be accompanied by lightheadedness, shortness of breath, abdominal cramps, nausea, or vomiting. Treatments and preventive measures are available for these potential problems. In addition, the access can become infected or develop blood clots.
Many patients who receive hemodialysis in a center are either unable to work or choose not to work due to the time required for travel and treatment.
Kidney transplantation is considered the treatment of choice for many people with severe chronic kidney disease because quality of life and survival are often better than in people who are treated with dialysis. However, there is a shortage of organs available for donation. Many people who are candidates for kidney transplantation are put on a transplant waiting list and require dialysis until a kidney is available.
People with other medical conditions are evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine if kidney transplantation is an option.
Kidney transplantation is the treatment of choice for many people with end-stage kidney disease. A successful kidney transplant can improve your quality of life and reduce your risk of dying. In addition, people who undergo kidney transplantation do not require hours of daily dialysis treatment. Ideally, patients who are eligible to get a kidney transplant do so before ever starting on dialysis.
Kidney transplantation is a major surgical procedure that has risks both during and after the surgery. The risks of the surgery include infection, bleeding, and damage to the surrounding organs. Even death can occur, although this is very rare.