In-center dialysis works best for many patients with chronic kidney disease. If you choose in-center dialysis at one of our six locations, you will likely receive treatment three days a week, for about four hours at a time. You will get to know your in-center dialysis team well and hopefully find comfort being in the same center, with the same supportive staff, each time you dialyze.
How does in-center dialysis work?
There are two types of dialysis for patients with chronic kidney disease: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. While peritoneal dialysis patients receive training in a center, they then go on to dialyze at home. So when you hear the term ‘in-center dialysis,’ it is usually referring to hemodialysis.
Here’s how hemodialysis in one of our dialysis centers works:
1. Set up.
A hemodialysis machine is set up by a member of your dialysis team (a nurse or technician) using the prescription your kidney doctor (nephrologist) provides.
2. Wash and weigh.
When you arrive at the dialysis center, you will be asked to wash your dialysis access – either a fistula or graft – and weigh yourself. Your weight is continuously monitored as it will help determine the amount of dialysis you need.
3. Needles inserted.
Once you are seated and comfortable, a dialysis nurse or technician will place two dialysis needles in your fistula or graft. These needles are connected to tubing that carries your blood to and from the hemodialysis machine, where it is filtered and cleaned.
4. Treatment is carried out.
The dialysis treatment is carried out until enough waste and extra fluid is removed. Your nephrologist will monitor your blood pressure and lab test results to determine how long your treatment needs to be. Most in-center dialysis patients dialyze for about four hours at a time. During your treatment, you can read, watch TV, work on your laptop or tablet, take a nap or visit with a friend or family member. You need to remain seated during the treatment but a member of your dialysis team will be close at hand if you need any assistance.
5. Check weight and head home.
After your treatment, you will be asked to weigh yourself again. This helps confirm that excess fluid has been removed during your treatment.
Benefits of in-center dialysis
- The pressure is off you. With a full team of support staff on hand to help, all you have to do is sit back and relax. Your dialysis team will start and stop the treatment and be on hand should you need any assistance at all.
- Your home remains a home. If you dialyze in-center, there’s no need to take any dialysis equipment home with you. You go into the center three days a week and leave it all behind when you walk out the door and head home.
- You have an opportunity to socialize. There will be many other patients dialyzing when you do. Some of these patients will be on a similar dialysis schedule as you, so you’ll see the same friendly faces each time you come in. Get to know your peers and who knows — you might become lifelong friends!