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Why kidney replacement therapy?

If your kidneys are no longer able to cleanse your body of toxins and excess water, there are different treatment options available to prolong your life and several ways to maintain your quality of life as much as possible.

Don't feel intimidated by new terminology! Your physician will explain your therapy options in easy-to-understand language.

Tip: The more informed you go into conversations with your physician, the better you can follow the explanations and ask questions.

An overview of the most common therapy options can be found on our therapy options page.

Finding the best option

Each form of treatment has its own advantages and disadvantages and not every therapy may be suitable for you. Together with your physician, you will decide which treatment suits your personal situation best. For this purpose, an intensive discussion will take place with your physician, in which your physical health, the course of your illness, the home environment, and your own wishes and needs will be considered.

After the conversation, you will have time to think about your options and decide on a suitable treatment option. Try to involve your relatives and friends in the discussion!

Brief overview - therapy options


Below, you will find brief information on the individual therapy options. Do not worry! At this point, you do not need to understand everything in detail. Try to learn the main features of each therapy as much as you can. You can decide together with your medical team as well as family and friends on a suitable therapy option.

Kidney transplant

A transplant may be considered as the most optimal renal replacement therapy if suitable for the patient.

If a suitable donor kidney (either from a deceased organ donor or from a living donor) is available and the tests performed indicate that the kidney matches to the patient, it can be transplanted. A single kidney is usually sufficient to maintain filter functions. After the transplant, medications that suppress the immune system are taken so that the new kidney is well accepted by your body. Other medications are also prescribed to make transplantation as flawless as possible.

Unfortunately, the waiting time for a donor kidney may be quite long and finding a suitable donor may be difficult, which is why dialysis treatment is often necessary to bridge the gap.

Dialysis

Dialysis is the most common choice to treat end stage kidney disease. It represents a substitution of different functions of the human kidney. Together with your physician you will find ways of integrating the treatment into your everyday life.

Peritoneal dialysis

The term peritoneal dialysis (PD) is derived from the peritoneum, which describes the thin, protective structure around the abdominal organs. It is a unique enclosed space in the abdomen, the abdominal cavity.

In peritoneal dialysis, the peritoneum is used as a natural filter to cleanse the body of waste materials and excess water. This requires a surgically created PD catheter.

Peritoneal dialysis can be carried out independently at home or any other suitable place.

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