practice logo


Nephrology & Hypertension serving Middle Tennessee

Hemodialysis services offered throughout Middle tennessee

End-stage kidney disease is a life-threatening condition, but you can keep working and stay active with routine hemodialysis. At Southern Kidney Specialists, with locations throughout Middle Tennessee, you have the support of a highly trained team specializing in hemodialysis and providing the individualized care you need to stay healthy. If you need hemodialysis, call the nearest office or use the online booking feature today to schedule an appointment and start your comprehensive care.

When do I need hemodialysis?

Hemodialysis refers to a procedure that filters your blood when chronic kidney disease causes such extensive damage that your kidneys can’t do their job.

Your kidneys normally filter your blood, removing excess fluid and toxic waste. If your kidneys fail, you need hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis to take over for your kidneys.

What happens before hemodialysis?

Hemodialysis uses intravenous needles to connect an artery and vein to a machine (dialyzer) that filters your blood. Before you can start your treatments, you undergo a procedure to create permanent access to your blood vessels.

A stable access point is created by connecting an arm vein to an artery. Dialysis access makes it easier to insert the needles, and the vein enlarges, letting the blood flow faster during hemodialysis.

What happens during hemodialysis?

During hemodialysis, your provider places two needles into the blood vessels and uses long, flexible catheters (tubes) to connect the needles to the dialyzer.

One needle takes blood from your body and carries it to the dialyzer. The blood flows through the machine, which filters out the toxins and then returns the clean blood to your body through the second catheter.

How often will I need hemodialysis?

The frequency of your hemodialysis treatment depends on whether you use a medical center (or hemodialysis clinic) or choose to do the procedure at home.

Most people using a medical facility go three times a week, and each dialysis session lasts about four hours. If you decide to do hemodialysis at home, you can choose from:

  • Conventional home hemodialysis (three times a week for 3-4 hours)
  • Short daily home hemodialysis (5-7 times a week for about two hours)
  • Nocturnal home hemodialysis (six nights every week for 6-8 hours)

Home hemodialysis gives you more freedom to work around your schedule, but it’s not for everyone. If you have home hemodialysis, you use a small dialyzer machine at home. You and a partner need extensive training and ongoing support to ensure your safety and success.

No matter which type of hemodialysis you use, your Southern Kidney Specialists provider closely monitors your health and runs routine lab tests to be sure you receive the right amount of dialysis.

If you need compassionate care for chronic kidney disease or support for hemodialysis, call the nearest Southern Kidney Specialists office or request an appointment online today.