Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is a type of dialysis used to treat kidney failure. It involves using the
patient own peritoneal membrane, which lines the inside of the abdomen, as a filter to
remove waste products and excess fluids from the blood.
During peritoneal dialysis, a special solution called dialysate is introduced into the
abdominal cavity through a small, flexible tube called a catheter. The dialysate is allowed to
dwell for a period of time, usually several hours, during which it absorbs waste products and
excess fluids from the bloodstream. The used dialysate is then drained out of the abdomen
through the catheter and replaced with fresh solution.
There are two main types of peritoneal dialysis: continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis
(CAPD) and automated peritoneal dialysis (APD). With CAPD, the patient manually performs
exchanges of dialysate throughout the day, while with APD a machine automatically
performs exchanges during the night.
Peritoneal dialysis can be done at home, making it a convenient option for some patients.
However, it does require regular monitoring and follow-up with a healthcare provider to
ensure that it is being done correctly and to manage any potential complications.
Potential complications of peritoneal dialysis include infection, catheter problems, and
abdominal pain or discomfort. Patients considering peritoneal dialysis should discuss the
risks and benefits with their healthcare team to determine if it is the right option for them.