Dialysis is a required treatment for people who have end-stage renal disease or acute kidney failure. Kidney disease can lead to a dangerous build-up of fluids and waste products in the blood. Unless a patient can receive a kidney transplant, he or she will require some type of dialysis to filter waste and perform the organs’ core functions.
If you are experiencing kidney failure, you may receive peritoneal dialysis as treatment. This procedure uses the peritoneum, a membrane in your belly, as a way to filter blood in your body.
What Is Peritoneal Dialysis?
There are two main types of dialysis treatments: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Hemodialysis is a procedure where your blood is removed, cleansed, and placed back into your body using a machine called a dialyzer. Peritoneal dialysis involves passing a fluid into the abdomen to filter blood.
Before you undergo your first peritoneal dialysis treatment, a surgeon will place a catheter tube into your abdomen. This tube will allow a solution called dialysate to enter your abdomen. When the bag is empty, you can place a cap on the catheter and take part in normal activities.
While the dialysate is inside of your body, it will absorb waste products and extra fluid from your bloodstream. Your blood is filtered through your peritoneum. When the process is complete, you will drain the fluid and waste products out of your abdomen into an empty bag.
The Different Types of Peritoneal Dialysis
There are several types of peritoneal dialysis procedures. In most cases, medical professionals will recommend one of the following treatments.
- Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD): During this procedure, your abdomen will be filled with dialysate and drained multiple times per day. While you do not need a machine to perform CAPD, the dialysate needs to stay in your abdomen for four to six hours. You will need to manually change the solution several times per day.
- Continuous Cycling Peritoneal Dialysis (CCPD): During CCPD, a machine continuously cycles fluid in and out of your abdomen while you are asleep. This process takes 10 to 12 hours, and you must stay connected to the machine until the dialysis is done.
If you are in the hospital, your medical team may recommend intermittent peritoneal dialysis (IPD). Like CCPD, this treatment uses a machine that cycles fluid in and out of your body. IPD can take even longer to complete and usually involves a higher volume of dialysate.
How Does Peritoneal Dialysis Feel?
When you undergo peritoneal dialysis, you may feel or look no different than normal. In some cases, you may feel full or bloated. Your belly may become slightly larger, and you may want to buy larger, loose-fitting clothes for your comfort.
This treatment should not be painful. If you experience any pain while on peritoneal dialysis, speak to your medical team as soon as possible.
Pros and Cons of Peritoneal Dialysis
Peritoneal dialysis has several advantages over hemodialysis. First, it provides greater flexibility because you do not need to schedule or attend sessions at a dialysis center. You do not need to follow the strict diet that hemodialysis patients need to follow.
However, peritoneal dialysis is not right for everyone. If you have a gastrointestinal condition like inflammatory bowel disease, weakened muscles in your abdomen, or extensive surgical scars, the treatment may be ineffective.
Additionally, peritoneal dialysis requires a great deal of at-home support. If you do not have a caregiver to help with treatments or are unable to provide the space or resources to perform it yourself, this treatment may not work for you.
Potential Risks Associated with Peritoneal Dialysis
Like all medical procedures, peritoneal dialysis comes with its share of risks. Although your medical team should work closely with you to ensure that no complications arise, the following side effects can occur.
- Infection: One of the major risks of peritoneal dialysis is infection. Peritonitis, an infection of the abdominal lining, is especially common. This condition develops around your catheter access point, leading to serious and life-threatening complications. If you notice pain, tenderness, fever, nausea, or rigid muscles around the access site, seek medical attention.
- Hernia: Because you need to hold in so much fluid, peritoneal dialysis can place a lot of strain on your abdominal muscles. As a result, these muscles can become weaker over time, leading to a hernia.
- Weight Gain: The dialysate solution contains sugar, which can cause you to consume excess calories. You may gain weight as a result, and your blood sugar levels can rise significantly.
- Kidney Damage: While undergoing peritoneal dialysis, it is very important to avoid certain prescription or over-the-counter medications. Certain drugs can lead to serious kidney damage, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications.
- Ineffectiveness: Peritoneal dialysis can become ineffective as time goes on. Without a kidney transplant, your medical team may recommend that you receive hemodialysis in later years.
Dialysis Is a Lifelong Treatment
There is no cure for kidney disease. If you require peritoneal dialysis, there is a good chance that you will need dialysis for the rest of your life. The only alternative is securing a kidney transplant, which can be complex and require significant waiting periods.
Kidney disease can disrupt your life in several ways, from impacting your ability to enjoy daily activities to placing a major burden on your finances. If you are diagnosed with this condition, it can be difficult to pay for life-saving treatments like peritoneal dialysis.
However, options for compensation are available in certain cases. Experts have linked dangerous and defective medications like Truvada to kidney failure requiring dialysis. If you were diagnosed with kidney disease after taking a dangerous medication, you could file a lawsuit against the drug’s manufacturers.
Speak to a Defective and Dangerous Medication Lawyer Today
Filing a defective drug lawsuit enables you to recover compensation for medical care, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and more. In these situations, you may wonder if you are eligible for a claim. The only way to know whether you qualify for litigation is to speak to an attorney.
A defective drug lawsuit attorney can evaluate your case and identify your optimal path to compensation. As soon as possible following your kidney disease diagnosis, contact a Zantac lawyer to discuss your case and strategize your next steps.