Kidneys are two bean-shaped organs present on either side of the spine in our body. The major functions of kidneys include filtering excessive fluids and wastes and eliminating it through urine. However, chronic kidney disease causes your kidneys to lose this function over time. Around the last stage of kidney disease, the patient will need dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive.
WHAT IS A DIALYSIS?
Dialysis refers to a medical process of removing excess water, wastes, and toxins from the body with the help of an artificial machine. In patients whose kidneys have stopped functioning, dialysis is an effective way to lead a better life. In simple words, dialysis performs the function of failed kidneys.
WHEN DOES A PATIENT REQUIRE DIALYSIS?
Around the end stage of chronic kidney stage, the kidneys cease to function without an external support. Levels of creatinine increase considerably. There is also a sharp increase in the levels of other toxins in your body. To flush these toxins out, a dialysis is required. Some additional symptoms might include constant skin itch, muscle twitches & cramps, urinary problems, etc.
PREPARATION FOR DIALYSIS
- If the creatinine levels in your body do not go down, your doctor will ask you to prepare for dialysis.
- Before the first dialysis, a vascular access will be placed under your skin to get a good access to your bloodstream. The VA will allow the blood to flow to and fro the dialysis machine at a good speed, owing to which more and more toxins, wastes, & extra fluids can be eliminated from your body.
- The implant of a fistula or graft will require a small surgical process.
- The process requires less time and you can be discharged on the same day itself.
- A local anaesthesia will be administered before the procedure.
- The duration between your surgery and first dialysis will be decided by your doctor.
- Talk to your doctor about the medicines that you should take after dialysis.
- Follow the diet chart prepared for you by your dietician and doctor.
COMMON RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH DIALYSIS
Although dialysis is a lifesaver for people with chronic kidney disease, it has its own risks. Some common risks of dialysis include:
- Low blood pressure
- Muscle cramps and twitch
- Cardiac arrest
- Sleep disturbances
- Difficulty in breathing
- Increased levels of potassium
- Dryness of skin and itching