Reference Index Page 6

Peritoneal Dialysis

      A cleansing solution, called dialysate, travels through a special tube into your abdomen. Fluid, wastes, and chemicals pass from tiny blood vessels in the peritoneal membrane into the dialysate. After several hours, the dialysate gets drained from your abdomen, taking the wastes from your blood with it. Then you fill your abdomen with fresh dialysate and the cleaning process begins again.

      Before your first treatment, a surgeon places a small, soft tube called a catheter into your abdomen. This catheter always stays there. It helps transport the dialysate to and from your peritoneal membrane. Click here for a picture.

There are three types of peritoneal dialysis.

1. Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD)

CAPD is the most common type of peritoneal dialysis. It needs no machine nor is assistance required. It can be done in any clean, well-lit place. With CAPD, your blood is always being cleaned. The dialysate passes from a plastic bag through the catheter and into your abdomen. The dialysate stays in your abdomen with the catheter sealed for four to six hours. After that time, you drain the solution back into the bag. Then you refill your abdomen with fresh solution through the same catheter. The process of draining the dialysate and replacing fresh solution takes 30 to 40 minutes. Most people change the solution four times a day. Now the cleaning process begins again. While the solution is in your body, you may fold the empty plastic bag and hide it under your clothes, around your waist, or in a pocket.

2. Continuous Cyclic Peritoneal Dialysis (CCPD)

CCPD is like CAPD except that a machine, which connects to your catheter, automatically fills and drains the dialysate from your abdomen. The machine does this at night while you sleep. CCPD requires the help of a partner (family member, friend, or health professional). With CCPD, treatments last from 10 to 12 hours every night.

3. Intermittent Peritoneal Dialysis (IPD)

IPD uses the same type of machine as CCPD to add and drain the dialysate. IPD can be done at home, but it's usually done in the hospital. Like CCPD, the help of a partner (family member, friend, or health professional) is required for IPD. IPD treatments take longer than CCPD. With IPD, treatments are done several times a week, for a total of 36 to 42 hours per week. Sessions may last up to 24 hours.