If 90% or more of your kidney is no longer functioning, the nephrology experts at San Antonio Kidney Disease Center Physicians Group may tell you that it’s time for dialysis. Hemodialysis is one of the two types of dialysis options. In practice since 1978, the team has a lot of experience when it comes to kidney health and treatment options. If you live in or near San Antonio, book an appointment by phone.
If your kidneys aren’t effective enough at clearing your blood of waste and excess water, it’s called kidney failure or end stage renal disease. The team at San Antonio Kidney Disease Center may recommend dialysis, which is a medical treatment that cleans your blood like healthy kidneys do.
While kidney failure most often occurs after months or years with chronic kidney disease, your kidneys can also fail quickly from an acute illness.
There are two types of dialysis:
You don’t need to decide on your own which dialysis treatment is the best choice for you. The nephrologists at San Antonio Kidney Disease Center have a lot of experience helping patients determine the best form of treatment based on health, age, lifestyle, and living situation.
Hemodialysis is a form of dialysis that uses a special machine to clean your blood. Your blood flows from your body to the machine, then goes through an advanced filtering system called a dialyzer, and then is returned to your body cleared of waste, excess sodium, and fluids.
During hemodialysis, two needles with tubes attached to the hemodialysis machine are inserted into what’s called vascular access in your arm. The hemodialysis machine takes blood from one of the needles a few ounces at a time, cleans it, then sends it back to your body through the other needle.
The entire procedure takes a few hours and is conducted two or three times a week. The physicians at San Antonio Kidney Disease Center determine how often and how long you need to be on the machine.
While hemodialysis is often done at a center, there are hemodialysis machines available for home use.
When you’re on hemodialysis, you need to pay close attention to your diet and limit your intake of foods high in phosphorus, sodium, and potassium. You also have to be careful about how much you drink. Because your kidneys can’t clear these nutrients from your body, they can build up in your blood in between treatments and be harmful to your health.
A dietitian at the dialysis center works one on one with you to help you understand your special diet.