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The Benefits of Home Dialysis - How to Thrive

Why home dialysis might help

Dialysis is a lifesaving therapy that takes the place of kidneys for people experiencing kidney failure.

For many patients, the transition to dialysis is life-changing and takes significant lifestyle adjustments. One way to ease the transition is to bring dialysis into a patient’s home, allowing them to dialyze where they’re comfortable, on a schedule that works for them.

Choosing a dialysis treatment option is a personal decision that is made between a patient and their healthcare provider. While many patients can benefit from home dialysis, it might not be the right fit for everyone.

Patients who dialyze at home may report feeling more energy overall and have fewer food and fluid restrictions than those who dialyze in-center. Home dialysis can also fit more seamlessly into a patient’s lifestyle as it is done on a personalized schedule. Some home dialysis patients even dialyze at night while they sleep. The convenience of dialyzing at home also removes any transportation barriers that could exist in getting to and from a dialysis center. 

Types of Home Dialysis

There are two forms of home dialysis available: home peritoneal dialysis (home PD) and home hemodialysis (home HD). Like in-center dialysis, home HD works by filtering the blood outside the body. Home PD uses the blood vessels lining the abdomen — the peritoneum — to naturally filter blood.

Both forms of home dialysis can be a good option depending on the patient and their lifestyle. Some patients may prefer in-center treatment or lack adequate support to dialyze at home. In-center and home dialysis have pros and cons, and the right treatment option is always a highly personal decision.

Home Dialysis Training

Training to dialyze at home is a process that can take anywhere from three to six weeks depending on the patient and therapy modality. Most training takes place in a dialysis center with highly trained professionals. Some Fresenius Medical Care patients may even benefit from training using virtual reality devices with specialized programming.

Regardless of the training methods, patients are given the tools and resources necessary to confidently perform home dialysis before they graduate training. Additionally, trained healthcare professionals are available round the clock to support Fresenius Medical Care patients by answering questions. Our goal is to ensure all home dialysis patients feel comfortable and secure while dialyzing.

International Home Dialysis Usage

Internationally, home dialysis is growing. In much of the world, home PD is the predominant form of home dialysis. In the United States, home HD is becoming more common, thanks in part to technology like one of the NxStage machines. Depending on location, one therapy option may be more available than the other.

Thriving with Home Dialysis

Many patients find that home dialysis helps them integrate dialysis into their full lives. Fresenius Medical Care patients have adjusted home dialysis to accommodate busy work schedules, family commitments, and even travel. While not right for everyone, home dialysis may provide the right balance to help renal patients manage a healthy lifestyle.

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