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Dialysis is the process of removing additional waste, fluids, toxins and buildup from the kidneys for those who are experiencing kidney failure. Dialysis can be temporary for patients with short-term kidney malfunctions, as well as a life-long procedure for patients with permanent kidney failure.

Dialysis can be performed both in and out of the hospital. The two types are:

  • Hemodialysis: Patient is hooked up to a dialyzer machine, which cleans the blood and returns it to the patient.
  • Peritoneal: A thin tube (catheter) is inserted into the lining of the abdomen, and is used to add and drain cleansing fluid into the belly, where it will clean the blood.

Functioning kidneys have several jobs; they maintain chemical levels within the bloodstream, regulate blood pressure and help to make cells and bones healthy. Failure can cause uncontrollable levels of waste in the blood, increased blood pressure and excess fluid in tissue, which can lead to tissue swelling (edema).

Dialysis Symptoms and Diagnosis

Kidney failure can be caused by disease, injury, genetics or lifestyle habits such as severe dehydration. Patients may not attribute their symptoms to kidney failure immediately, and the signs can vary depending on which function has begun to fail. Symptoms can include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Loss or sudden change in appetite
  • Change in body temperature
  • Swelling in the face and extremities
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Change in urine production and appearance
  • Strange taste in mouth

Your primary care or referring physician will take blood and urine samples and recommend image testing to get a closer look at the kidneys. An interventional radiologist can perform a kidney biopsy (taking a small sample of tissue from the organ) and take venograms using x-ray technology.

Treatment Options using Dialysis

Dialysis is often a long term process, and our interventional radiologists want to assist your care team to accurately diagnose and manage your kidney failure. We perform minimally invasive procedures that allow our physicians to examine kidney tissue and determine the best technique to help your kidneys function during dialysis.

Our interventional radiology team uses advanced techniques as part of dialysis including:

For More Information

To schedule an appointment with one of our interventional radiologists, please call 847.570.2160.