The Main Differences Between Hemodialysis and Peritoneal Dialysis

Kidney failure can be treated by either hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis. Both processes involve the removal of waste and extra fluid from the body. Hemodialysis is done with the help of an apparatus called a dialyzer. On the other hand, the latter uses a combination of the lining of the peritoneal membrane (abdominal cavity) and a solution.



Your doctor will need to create a site for the flow of blood in and out of your body before you can start treatments. A machine, which you will be connected to by tubes attached to your blood vessels, will be used to clean your blood.

Since the elimination of waste is done by machine, you will have to go to a hospital or dialysis center on a set schedule. Usually, this treatment is done three days each week and takes around three to five hours per day.

There is an option to do dialysis at home, but it will require training for you and at least one other person assigned to help you. Certain changes will also be required for your home in order for the equipment to work.

Since the machine is in your home, you can set your own schedule for dialysis but it has to be more frequent, although the sessions will be shorter. For instance, you can have a daily session lasting two to three hours.

One advantage of hemodialysis is that you have four free days in your week. Plus, it’s just done once and takes a few hours of your day.

But there are also drawbacks. The treatment can make you feel tired and cause problems such as low blood pressure, anemia, and depression – just to name a few.

Your diet should also be strictly watched when undergoing this kind of treatment. You can only drink a certain amount of fluid and you have to avoid a number of foods.


Peritoneal dialysis

Like hemodialysis, you need to undergo a certain procedure before you can start dialysis. For this treatment, a catheter will be placed in your belly. This will be used to filter your blood.

The process of doing this kind of dialysis is called an exchange, which needs to be completed four to six times per day. But unlike hemodialysis, you don’t need heavy equipment or hospital visits to get this done; you can even undergo the treatment at home or even while traveling.

While this kind of dialysis is more freeing, it can be quite a discomfort because of the catheter’s presence. But you can easily conceal that with your clothes.

Unlike hemodialysis, there are fewer restrictions when it comes to food and drink intake. Then again, it also has some disadvantages.

Peritoneal dialysis needs to be carried out multiple times in a single day. Hemodialysis may take a huge chunk of your day to complete but there are days when you don’t have to go through it at all.

Although this kind of treatment doesn’t use needles, it can still be hard for some to do. Plus, there’s still a risk of infection to the lining of the belly (peritonitis).


For more information on hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis, contact the National Institute of Clinical Research today!



The National Institute of Clinical Research is an SMO/CRO with offices and labs in the following cities and states: New Jersey, North Carolina, Austin, San Diego, San Francisco, Bakersfield 93309, Fountain Valley 92708, Garden Grove 92840, Hacienda Heights 91745, Huntington Beach 92648, Las Vegas 89106, Long Beach 90806, Los Angeles 90048, Ontario 91762, Rosemead 91770, San Antonio 78207, Santa Ana 92704, Upland 91786, and Westminster 92683.