Reasons for Procedure
- Remove waste and excess fluid from your blood
- Control blood pressure
- Keep a safe level of salts in the body, such as potassium, sodium, and chloride
- A drop in blood pressure during hemodialysis
- Heart rhythm abnormalities
- Muscle cramps
- Nausea, vomiting
- Feeling hot, sweaty, weak, and/or lightheaded
- Inflammation of the heart sac, a condition called pericarditis
- Neurologic problems
- Disruption of calcium and phosphorus balance, resulting in weakened bones
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Have your weight, blood pressure, and temperature taken
- Be given heparin to prevent blood clotting.
Description of the Procedure
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How Long Will It Take?
- How much kidney function remains
- How much fluid weight gain has occurred since the last treatment
- The amount of waste in the body
- Body size
- The level of salts in your body, such as sodium, potassium, and chloride
Will It Hurt?
- Blood pressure medications
- Calcium supplements or multivitamins
- Phosphorus binders—to lower phosphorus levels in the blood
- Diuretics—to remove excess fluid
- Stool softeners or laxatives—to prevent or treat constipation, which can be caused by decreased fluid intake
- Iron supplements—to increase iron intake, which is important to make red blood cells
- Medications to stimulate the body to produce more red blood cells
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, warmth, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge at the catheter or tube insertion site
- Nausea or vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Lightheadedness or weakness
The Kidney Dialysis Foundation http://www.kdf.org.sg
National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
The Kidney Foundation of Canada: British Columbia Branch http://www.kidney.ca
Hemodialysis. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: http://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/hemodialysis.cfm. Accessed May 21, 2013.
Dialysis for chronic kidney disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated May 9, 2013. Accessed May 21, 2013.
Treatment Methods for Kidney Failure: Hemodialysis. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse website. Available at: http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/hemodialysis/. Updated December 21, 2011. Accessed May 21, 2013.
- Reviewer: Adrienne Carmack, MD
- Review Date: 03/2014 -
- Update Date: 04/29/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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