Dialysis and transplant represent the two treatment options you have when your kidneys stop working. At Southern Kidney Specialists, with offices throughout Middle Tennessee, the caring team understands that this is an emotionally and physically challenging time. As you start dialysis and wait for a kidney transplant, they provide exceptional care that supports your health and well-being. To schedule an appointment, call the nearest office or book an appointment online.
Chronic kidney disease goes through five progressive stages based on how well your kidneys can function. In the early stages (one through three), your kidneys can still filter blood and remove toxic waste. However, kidney damage increases, and function decreases with each stage.
By stage four, your kidneys have sustained severe damage. When you reach stage five, they’re barely working or have failed.
When your kidneys lose 85% or more of their function, you’re in end-stage kidney disease. At this stage, you must have dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Dialysis uses two techniques (hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis) to take over for your kidneys and remove toxins from your blood.
Hemodialysis uses a machine (dialyzer) to filter your blood and remove toxic wastes. Your blood flows from your arm to the dialyzer. Inside the dialyzer, a fluid (dialysate) pulls the waste out of your blood. Then the filtered blood returns to your body through a second catheter. Most people go to the dialysis clinic, but you may qualify for at-home hemodialysis.
Peritoneal dialysis is always performed at home. For this technique, you have a catheter placed in your abdomen. The dialysate goes through the catheter and into your abdomen, where it stays for several hours, pulling toxins out of your blood. When the dialysate leaves your abdomen, it eliminates the toxic waste.
You can stop dialysis as soon as a kidney is available. The first step is being screened to determine if you qualify for a transplant.
If you qualify, the next step is choosing the type of kidney transplant you want to pursue. For example, you may find a living donor or go on a registry to receive a kidney from someone donating the organ after they die.
If you have a living donor, it doesn’t take long to have a transplant and stop dialysis. Unfortunately, the waitlist for a deceased donor kidney is 3-5 years or longer. During that time, you need to keep using dialysis.
The team at Southern Kidney Specialists supports you every step of the way, whether dialysis or transplant is your treatment path. To schedule an appointment, call the nearest office or use the online booking feature today.