If you have stage 5 kidney disease, you will need to undergo treatment such as dialysis or kidney transplant on top of medications. Dialysis is a medical process that mimics the functions of healthy kidneys by removing toxins from the body and maintaining fluid balance.
The two main types of dialysis are Haemodialysis (HD) and Peritoneal Dialysis (PD). Typically, PD is performed at home, while HD is performed in a dialysis centre. It is important to know that you may want to or need to switch between two different types of dialysis, depending on your clinical condition and preferences over the following years.
If you have been under the care of a renal unit, be it in a public hospital or private clinic, you should have access in place for dialysis to commence – a fistula in your arm for haemodialysis (HD) or a catheter in your abdomen for peritoneal dialysis (PD).
The nephrology team will also be assessing your suitability for a kidney transplant. In some countries, a small number of people may be able to receive kidney transplants before dialysis is needed. However, typically, eligible people will receive a transplant while on dialysis.