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Dialysis is a treatment that takes over the job of your kidneys if they fail . The kidneys have many functions that help your body stay healthy. They help clear toxins out of your blood and help your body balance salt levels. Most patients begin dialysis when their kidneys have lost 85%-90% of their ability. You may be on dialysis for a short time, or you may need it for the rest of your life (or until you receive a kidney transplant), depending on the reason for your kidney failure.
If you have kidneys that are not working and the damage is not reversible, you have end-stage renal disease (ESRD). ESRD is caused by conditions such as diabetes, kidney cancer , drug use, high blood pressure , or other kidney problems. Dialysis is not a cure for ESRD, but it does help you feel better...
The main functions of peritoneal dialysis are to:
- Remove waste and excess fluid from your blood
- Control blood pressure
- Keep a safe level of salts in the body, such as potassium, sodium, and chloride
Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have peritoneal dialysis, your doctor will review a list of possible complications. These may include:
- Lowering your red blood count and causing anemia
- Muscle cramps
- Nausea, vomiting
- Feeling hot, sweaty, weak, and/or dizzy
- Infection of the abdominal cavity
- Inflammation of the heart sac ( pericarditis )
- Neurologic problems
- Disruption of calcium and phosphorus balance, resulting in weakened bones
Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
- Adhesions or significant abdominal scar tissue
- Infection of the peritoneum (lining of the abdominal cavity)
- Abdominal hernia
- Diverticulitis —an infection...