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FAQ's

Question:

What is Peritoneal Dialysis?
   
Answer:
Peritoneal dialysis is a form of therapy that replaces a patient’s kidney function. It uses the patient’s own peritoneal membrane to act as the artificial kidney. A special type of fluid called peritoneal dialysis fluid enters the patient’s abdominal cavity through a surgically placed PD catheter. It stays inside the abdominal cavity where it lies in contact with the peritoneal membrane. During this time, poisons, toxins, and excess fluid which are found in abundance in the blood of a patient with kidney failure will transfer from his blood to the PD fluid. After 6 to 8 hours, the PD fluid will be drained via the PD catheter, containing many poisons, toxins, and excess fluid. This is how the blood is cleaned of all the toxic substances that accumulated because the kidneys were no longer functioning adequately. After draining the fluid, fresh solution will be infused into the abdominal cavity again through the PD catheter. This cycle is repeated from 3 to 4 times each day everyday.
 
   
Question:
What are the advantages of doing PD? Is it right for me?
 
Answer:
The major advantage of doing PD is that the patient and/or caregivers are trained to perform PD at home. There is no need to go to a hemodialysis center in a hospital or clinic for 4 hours, 2 to 3 times a week. Dialysis using PD can be performed in the comfort of one’s bedroom, or in the office. All the patient needs is a clean room with adequate ventilation. The patient is therefore more mobile with freedom to travel. If one is planning to go to a different city for a vacation, there is no need to make reservations at an HD center. The patient just brings his required number of PD dialysis fluid bags and off they go to their city of choice!
 
PD is especially appropriate for children who may not have suitable veins large enough for the HD needles. They can grow up in the warm environment of home, without the memory of doing therapy in the hospital.
 
Elderly patients, or patients with significant heart disease may feel better on PD therapy because it is a gentler form of dialysis which is performed daily, every day. They will not be subjected to the severe drops in blood pressure associated with HD treatment when blood exits from the arm even though it is returned to the patient.
 
PD is appropriate for any patient as long as their peritoneum is working properly. Patients who have had previous abdominal surgeries like surgery for a ruptured appendix or an operation to remove a gall bladder, or a previous childbirth by ceasarian section may not be suitable because the peritoneal membrane may have developed adhesions (or scar tissue) as a result of the operation. Once the peritoneal membrane is replaced by scar tissue, it can no longer function adequately as an artificial kidney. Discuss this concern with your physician! Your doctor will help you make the best decision on your choice of dialysis therapy. 
 
PD can be performed by anyone, from an adolescent to an elderly patient. The steps are easy to perform and the PD tubings and bags very simple to use. Remember, they were made especially to be used by ordinary men, women and children. We have an expert training team who will teach the patient, relatives and caregivers all the steps in performing peritoneal dialysis. 
 
 
Question:
What is the Peritoneal Membrane?
 
Answer:
This is the lining of the abdominal organs such as the stomach and intestines, liver and spleen and lining the body wall. It acts as the artificial kidney during peritoneal dialysis. It allows the passage of toxins such as excess urea, creatinine, and potassium which accumulate in patients with kidney failure. It also allows excess water to be removed from the body in patients who have leg edema, and fluid in the lungs. This can happen in patients with kidney failure who can no longer urinate sufficiently.
 
 
Question:  
What is a PD Catheter?
 
Answer:
The PD catheter is a pliable tubing about 12 inches long which is surgically placed inside the abdomen. In patients with kidney failure it is placed only once and lasts the lifetime of the patient. It is the permanent access where the PD fluid will enter and exit from the patient’s abdomen in order for peritoneal dialysis to be performed. About 5 inches of tubing may be seen exiting from the abdomen.
 
   
Question:
What is PD Fluid or PD Solution?
 
Answer:
PD fluid is a special type of fluid, similar to the dextrose fluid given intravenously. It contains electrolytes which are usually lacking in a patient with kidney failure, such as calcium, and has dextrose which acts to remove fluid from the body.
 
 
Question:
What is a PD Exchange?
   
Answer:
A PD exchange is the process of infusing PD solution into the peritoneal cavity via the PD catheter and then draining it after several hours. Fresh PD solution is infused into the peritoneal cavity of the patient by connecting the dialysis fluid tubing to the patients PD catheter. The PD solution stays inside the peritoneal cavity where it lies in contact with the peritoneal membrane which now acts as the artificial kidney. Toxins and poisons from the blood enter into the PD solution, as well as the body’s excess fluid. After about 6 to 8 hours, the PD solution containing the toxins is drained from the peritoneal cavity into the empty drain bag, and fresh PD solution is infused again. The used tubings and spent dialysis fluid (fluid containing all the toxins) is then disconnected from the patient and discarded. This is performed 3 to 4 times a day, everyday. One exchange takes about 20 minutes; 10 minutes to infuse fluid and 10 minutes to drain it.