The hemodialysis treatment is an alternative way to carry out some of the kidney functions when the organ fails to do it. Dr. William Matzner explains.
Healthcare Analytics, LLC (N/A:N/A)
PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, April 14, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — Kidneys, a pair of bean-shaped organs that lie on each side of the spinal cord, play a vital role in maintaining a healthy body. From cleansing the blood and maintaining the mineral balance to producing certain hormones and removing waste, our kidneys do a lot of work for our body. Dr. William Matzner has published an informational article on this issue. The complete article will be published on the Blog of Dr. Matzner at https://drwilliammatzner.blogspot.com
Unfortunately, there are multiple factors that can affect our kidney health and if not taken care of, they can even lead to kidney failure. While kidneys do not fail overnight, it may happen over a period of time due to the gradual loss of kidney function. Many people do not even know they are suffering from kidney disease until it has reached the later stages. This can happen because of the absence of symptoms at the earlier stages, in many cases. This is why healthcare professionals stress regular medical checkups to ensure any health problems can be identified and treated before they get worse.
Available Treatments for Kidney Failure
Despite the fact that medical science has greatly evolved and has found several new ways to treat various health problems, we only have a few options for treating kidney failure, also called end-stage renal disease:
* Kidney transplant
* Dialysis – it is of two types; peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis
Since the first option requires finding a donor, which can take a long time, dialysis is the most viable option for treating patients suffering from kidney failure.
Choosing the Right Dialysis Treatment
When it comes to treating kidney failure, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Choosing the right dialysis treatment for a patient requires considering their overall health, medical history, and lifestyle.
Why Do a Lot Of Patients Prefer Hemodialysis?
While peritoneal dialysis seems to be a better option (as it doesn’t require the patient to go to a healthcare facility, a lot of patients prefer hemodialysis. Some of the reasons for this are:
* Peritoneal dialysis requires the patient to perform the exchange for about 4 times a day. Exchange is the process of adding fluid to the peritoneal cavity of your body and removing it after it has absorbed the waste from the blood. Each exchange takes around 30 to 45 minutes. On the other hand, hemodialysis is only performed 3 times a week.
* Performing peritoneal dialysis requires the patient to get training.
* Since hemodialysis is performed in a healthcare facility, there are both doctors and trained staff to take care of any issues that may arise during the procedure.
* Peritoneal dialysis has certain limitations. For example, it is not suitable for people suffering from certain stomach diseases, like Crohn’s disease. There are no such limitations for hemodialysis.
How Does Hemodialysis Work?
The hemodialysis treatment is an alternative way to carry out some of the kidney functions when the organ fails to do so. It involves using a specialized machine to remove waste from the patient’s blood.
Here’s what the hemodialysis process includes:
Creating Vascular Access
The first step of the hemodialysis treatment is to create vascular access so the blood can flow in and out of the patient’s body. This requires a minor surgery and can be performed in various ways:
* Arteriovenous (AV) Fistula
It is the process of creating access to the bloodstream by joining an artery and a vein (that carries blood to and from your heart) in the patient’s arm. The fistula needs to be allowed around 6 weeks to heal completely before the dialysis can be performed through it. This is usually the preferred method for creating the vascular access.
* AV Graft
This process involves using a plastic tube to connect an artery and a vein inside the patient’s body. Despite the fact that AV graft heals faster than the AV fistula – usually in 2 weeks – it is not the most preferred method because it does not last as long as the fistula and has greater chances of infections.
* Central Venous Catheter
This is the least preferred method for creating vascular access and is only used for patients who need immediate dialysis. It can only be used for a short time; until another access is ready to be used.
The process includes inserting a flexible tube, called catheter, into a vein in the patient’s neck or in the groin area.
Performing the Dialysis
For the hemodialysis, your body needs to be connected to the dialysis machine. For this, a trained technician will insert two needles in the vascular access after which the machine is turned on. The specialized machine works like a kidney. It slowly draws out the patient’s blood from one needle, passes it through a filter (also called a dialyzer) to remove waste and excess fluid, and then sends the clean blood back into the patient’s body though the second needle.
For many patients suffering from kidney failure, dialysis is the only available treatment. When coupled with lifestyle changes, most patients can continue to live a normal life for long periods. Hemodialysis is a better option because it is performed under the supervision of trained staff. Hence, there are lesser chances of complications.
About William Lee Matzner, M.D., PhD, FACP
Dr. William L. Matzner works in the area of healthcare economics consulting at Healthcare Analytics, LLC, in California. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University. He received his M.D. with Honors from Baylor College of Medicine. In 1988, he was the Solomon Scholar for Resident Research at Cedar Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Matzner subsequently was awarded a PhD in Neuro Economics from Claremont Graduate University. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Palliative Medicine. He has researched and published extensively on the issue of reproduction and immunology in medical literature. He has been in private practice since 1989, specializing in Reproductive Immunology and Internal medicine.
Consulting Website: https://healthcareanalytics.biz
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