Home Peritoneal Dialysis

Dialysis machine

There are 2 types of Home Peritoneal Dialysis:

  • Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD)
  • Continuous Cycling Peritoneal Dialysis (CCPD)

Home PD requires the placement of a flexible tube called a catheter into your abdomen. You will administer a fluid called dialysate through the tube into your abdomen. This dialysate fluid will stay in your abdomen for a prescribed period of time to help remove excess fluids and toxins. Then you reconnect to drain and discard the fluid. This process is called an exchange. The number of exchanges you do in a day will depend upon the prescription developed for you. If you choose peritoneal dialysis you will be trained to do manual exchanges (CAPD) and/or how to use a small machine that will do the exchanges for you (CCPD). Talk with your nephrologist if you are interested in obtaining a home dialysis evaluation.

Here are the reasons you might prefer peritoneal dialysis:

  • You will have more independence with your treatment, thus only having to come to the clinic 2 days a month
  • You will have some flexibility as to when you do your treatment
  • You can do the treatment while you sleep leaving your day free for other activities or do exchanges during the day to have your evening free.
  • You will be able to travel with minimal planning
  • You will feel physically consistent from day to day
  • Although dietary and fluid restrictions are a part of being a dialysis patient, you will have fewer restrictions

Here are some reasons you might not prefer peritoneal dialysis:

  • You will need to be home and available to accept delivery of your dialysis supplies
  • You will need to have space for both your dialysis supplies and a safe, clean setting to do your dialysis
  • You will need to have a home visit by a WDI nurse to ensure your home environment meets the standards for home treatment
  • You will need to do a dialysis treatment every day
  • You will need to maintain a high level of safety when connecting for an exchange to avoid infection
  • You will need to train for about 4 hours a day for 5-10 days at the dialysis clinic

Shared Medical Appointment (SMA): Another unique opportunity offered at WDI for home dialysis patients is the Shared Medical Appointment. SMA is a clinic visit concept pioneered by Dr. Micah Chan and his care team to help streamline the clinic process while providing a support network for patients and their families. If you become a home patient, you will be given the opportunity to join SMA.

The decision to go on home dialysis should be made by you and your health care team. Not all patients are candidates for home dialysis. If you are interested in this option, talk to your health care team. Be sure to ask questions. You are the most important member of your team. The more you learn about different dialysis options, the more likely you will be able to make a well informed decision and one that is right for you.