What happens before dialysis?

Preparation for dialysis is dependent upon which type of dialysis that you may need. In the case of hemodialysis, a patient must first have a minor surgical procedure in the arm. The surgery creates an access for the needles needed to connect the blood circulation to the dialysis machine. This minor surgery forms either an AV (arterio-venous) fistula or an AV Graft - if artificial (Gore-Tex) material is used. In peritoneal dialysis, a small tube (catheter) must be installed in a minor surgery that will help carry dialystate in and out of the body.

What will I feel during dialysis?

The dialysis treatment itself is painless, but you might feel a bit of discomfort when the needles are inserted. You might also feel dizzy or get a headache, stomachache or cramps. These usually go away after the first few treatments. Some people feel sad or depressed due to the change in lifestyle. If you are bothered by any of these, tell your doctor or nurse.

How will I feel after dialysis?

Healthy kidneys are at work all day long, so you don't feel anything happening. When you have dialysis, extra water and waste builds up between treatments. It takes time for the dialysis machine to clean the blood, and this puts a strain on your body. Because of this, most people feel tired after treatment.

What happens after dialysis?

Dialysis is a procedure that is prescribed for kidney failure. A patient on dialysis will continue dialysis treatment for the rest of their lives unless they receive a kidney transplant. Cleveland Clinic doctors have had immense success with kidney transplants.

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