Dialysis is a treatment for kidney failure that helps filter waste products from the blood when the kidneys are not working properly. The two main types of dialysis are hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.

  • Hemodialysis uses a man-made membrane (dialyzer) to filter wastes and remove extra fluid from the blood. It is usually done in a hospital or outpatient dialysis center 3 times a week. Some types of hemodialysis are done at home.
  • Peritoneal dialysis uses the lining of the abdomen (peritoneal membrane) and a solution (dialysate) to remove wastes and extra fluid from the body. Treatment can be done at home over several sessions each day or for several hours at night.

Current as of: November 14, 2014

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Tushar J. Vachharajani, MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology