Dialysis treats end-stage kidney failure. It removes waste from your blood when your kidneys can no longer do their job.
There are different types of kidney dialysis. This article focuses on hemodialysis.
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What is Hemodialysis?
Your kidneys' main job is to remove toxins and extra fluid from your blood. If waste products build up in your body, it can be dangerous and even cause death.
Hemodialysis (and other types of dialysis) does some of the job of the kidneys when they stop working well.
- Remove extra salt, water, and waste products so they don't build up in your body
- Keep safe levels of minerals and vitamins in your body
- Help control blood pressure
- Help produce red blood cells
During hemodialysis, your blood passes through a tube into an artificial kidney, or filter.
- The filter, called a dialyzer, is divided into 2 parts separated by a thin wall.
- As your blood passes through one part of the filter, special fluid in the other part draws out waste from your blood.
- Your blood then goes back into your body through a tube.
Your doctor will create an access where the tube attaches. Usually an access will be in a blood vessel in your arm.