Peritoneal dialysis

Also called: PD, home peritoneal dialysis

Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) is currently the most common method of at-home dialysis. PD uses the thin membrane, called the peritoneum, which lines the abdomen to perform dialysis treatments. During treatments, a cleansing fluid called dialysate is put into the patient’s abdomen through a small, flexible tube called a PD catheter. The dialysate pulls the waste and extra fluid from the patient’s blood into the peritoneal cavity.

The dialysate remains in the abdomen for a specified amount of time before it is drained and replaced with fresh dialysate. The time during which the dialysate remains in the patient’s abdomen is known as the dwell time. When the dialysate is drained, the wastes and extra fluids are also drained, and fresh dialysate is replaced to clean the blood. This filling and draining process is called an exchange because the dialysate that has been in the abdomen is being exchanged for new, fresh dialysate.  Exchanges can be done manually or with a machine called a cycler. 

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