Peritoneal Dialysis

Doctor with patient undergoing peritoneal dialysis

What is peritoneal dialysis?

Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is a form of home dialysis that allows you to be independent, with more control over your schedule, including more flexibility to do your dialysis when it’s convenient for you. You have the freedom of performing your PD at home, at work, or even in a hotel room when traveling. There are fewer dietary restrictions than traditional hemodialysis, and PD patients often feel better overall.

PD uses a catheter placed in the abdomen to import and export dialysis to and from your body. You can use a cycler machine or simple gravity to get the fluid in and out. The cycler machine requires performing the exchange approximately 5 times/week. The simple gravity abdominal exchanges are done throughout the day- usually 3-4 exchanges/day.

At the Rogosin Institute, PD is also available for children with kidney failure, and Rogosin staff works closely with pediatric nephrologists to provide dialysis training for the patients and/or parents, depending on the age of the patient.

Benefits of PD treatment at Rogosin Institute

Some of the many benefits of choosing to visit Rogosin Institute for your PD treatment and kidney dialysis care include:

  • Peritoneal dialysis takes place in your own home
  • You do not need a partner to do peritoneal dialysis
  • Peritoneal dialysis can be done during the day or at night using a cycler machine
  • You do not need needles to perform peritoneal dialysis
  • Rogosin offers Telemedicine for PD patients allowing for ongoing quality care with fewer on-site visits
  • Rogosin’s specialized PD care team has extensive experience

Peritoneal Dialysis Testimonial

“Peritoneal dialysis allows me to travel, to be with my family, and to live life the way I want—with flexibility and freedom.”

—V. Harkovski

Are peritoneal dialysis treatments painful?

Some patients report discomfort with filling or draining PD fluid, but there are treatment adjustments that can be made to make this more comfortable. In general, once your catheter is placed and functioning, there are no needles involved in dialysis as compared to in center hemodialysis. Fluid simply enters your abdomen through the catheter, dwells inside for a while, and then drains back out.

Who is a candidate for peritoneal dialysis?

Peritoneal dialysis is a great option for cleaning your blood to overcome your kidney’s
inadequate function. It allows greater flexibility and independence. Your diet doesn’t need to be as restricted, and it typically helps retain kidney function slightly longer than with hemodialysis.

When considering if you’d be a good candidate for peritoneal dialysis, we’ll look at these factors:

  • Your kidney function
  • Your overall health
  • Your personal preferences
  • Your home situation
  • Your lifestyle

Peritoneal dialysis could be the best option if you:

  • Can’t tolerate the rapid changes of fluid balance associated with hemodialysis
  • Want to minimize the disruption of your daily activities
  • Want to work or travel more easily
  • Have some residual kidney function

Peritoneal dialysis might not work for you if you have:

  • Extensive surgical scars in your abdomen
  • A large area of weakened abdominal muscle (hernia)
  • Limited ability to care for yourself, or a lack of caregiving support
  • Inflammatory bowel disease or frequent bouts of diverticulitis

What is the difference between hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis?

  • In hemodialysis, blood is removed from the body, filtered through a machine and then the filtered blood is returned to the body. Hemodialysis is usually done in a health care facility such as The Rogosin Institute. In some cases, it can be performed at home.
  • Peritoneal dialysis does not involve exchanging the blood. Instead, during peritoneal dialysis, a cleansing fluid flows through a catheter into your abdomen. The lining of your abdomen, known as the peritoneum, acts as a filter and removes waste products from your blood. After a set period of time, the fluid with the filtered waste products flows out of your abdomen and is discarded.

What does peritoneal dialysis involve?

PD is a continuous form of home dialysis, performed daily. This form of dialysis requires surgical placement of a removable catheter into the abdominal cavity. Dialysis fluid is then drained from and introduced into the abdominal cavity via the catheter. These exchanges of fluid are made several times daily, either manually by the patient during the day, or via an automated cycler machine at night.

Before starting peritoneal dialysis at home, a PD nurse will train you to do PD on your own. Training usually takes a few weeks, coming about three times each week for a few hours per session (training times vary from one patient to the next). After completing the training and starting PD at home on your own, you will need to return to the peritoneal dialysis center once a month for a check-up with the PD team. Patients, their families or caregivers, can all be trained to perform PD safely at home.

How long can you stay on peritoneal dialysis?

There is no limit to the length of time you can stay on peritoneal dialysis as long as you meet all treatment goals measured by your PD team.

Can you skip a day of peritoneal dialysis?

It is important to complete your peritoneal dialysis as precribed. Your kidneys are working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Each of your PD exchanges removes waste and excess fluid from your blood. Fluid buildup from missed treatments can have lasting negative effects, including heart damage, elevated blood pressure, and an increased risk of stroke or heart attack. Dialysis also helps regulate your electrolytes and minerals such as sodium, potassium, and phosphorus in your blood. All of these are necessary for the overall function of your body. However, in an emergency if you are unable to perform PD you can discuss with your PD team how to proceed.

What are the complications with peritoneal dialysis?

The convenience and flexibility of peritoneal dialysis makes it a great treatment for some patients. But as with most medical treatments, there are some risks of complications.

  • Infections — An infection of the abdominal lining (peritonitis) is a common complication of peritoneal dialysis. An infection can also develop at the site where the catheter is inserted into your abdomen. This risk is low, and part of the training process is how to prevent and minimize your risk of infection.
  • Weight gain — The dialysate contains dextrose, a form of sugar. When your body absorbs some of the dialysate this could lead to weight gain.
  • Hernia — Holding fluid in your abdomen for long periods may strain your muscles, leading to the development of a hernia.

You’ll also need to avoid:

  • Certain prescription and over-the-counter medications that can damage your kidneys, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Where can I receive peritoneal dialysis training at Rogosin?

If you are interested in peritoneal dialysis, visit the Rogosin Institute, recognized as one of the country’s premier centers for the diagnosis and management of kidney disease. Our doctors lead the way in dialysis treatment for patients in the New York Metropolitan Area and beyond. Check out the information below to call an office near you, or fill out the Consultation Request Form on this page. We look forward to serving you!

Rogosin Manhattan East Dialysis
505 East 70th Street
New York, NY 10021
212-746-1566
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Rogosin West Side Dialysis
619 West 54th Street
New York, NY 10019
646-317-0402
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Rogosin Brooklyn Home Dialysis Training & Education Center
527 Court Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231
646-317-0564
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Rogosin Queens Dialysis 
66-20 Queens Boulevard
Woodside, NY 11377
646-317-7505
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