Peritoneal dialysis removes waste products and excess water, but your blood is cleaned while it is inside your body.

Blood vessels carry toxins and excess water to the lining of the abdomen, where they are able to cross into a special fluid, called dialysate. The dialysate is infused through a tube, called a catheter, which is surgically placed inside your belly. . The excess water and waste within the dialysate is then passed back through the catheter and it is collected and thrown out. The dialysis fluid goes in and comes out of your abdomen several times.

Advantages of Peritoneal Dialysis

  • Cleans your body every day, rather than a few times a week as with in-centre hemodialysis
  • Your diet is less restricted since your body is being cleaned more frequently
  • Allows you to continue your daily activities without having to go to a hospital
  • Easier to travel since there are fewer dialysis supplies needed

Limitations of Peritoneal Dialysis

  • The dialysis catheter must constantly remain in your abdomen
  • You will need to look after the catheter in order to reduce the risk of infection
  • You must dialyze every day in order to stay healthy
  • Precautions are needed in terms of swimming and showering is preferred, as opposed to bathing, so as to prevent infection

There are two types of peritoneal dialysis

Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis

In Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD), the dialysis fluid remains in your abdomen and cleans your body throughout the whole day. About 4 times per day, an exchange will be done, removing the old dialysis fluid containing waste and excess water, and instilling new clean dialysis fluid. Usually, these exchanges take place in the morning, around lunchtime, later in the afternoon, and in the evening. Each exchange takes about 30 to 45 minutes to perform. Since the exchanges need to be performed 4 times during the day, you will need to take time out of your day for each exchange, which may cause interruptions in your daily activities.

Continuous Cycler Peritoneal Dialysis

In Continuous Cycler Peritoneal Dialysis (CCPD), a machine called an automatic cycler performs exchanges while you sleep at night. When you wake up in the morning and disconnect from the machine, some dialysis fluid may remain in your body for the day, and it is removed when you re-connect to the automatic cycler machine at night. CCPD allows you to maintain your activities of daily life without having the interruptions to perform exchanges. However, since it requires you to be connected to the automatic cycler every night, this may affect your sleep.

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