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Peritoneal Dialysis

Peritoneal dialysis occurs inside the body. It uses your peritoneal membrane as the filter.

health and fitness Updated: Oct 17, 2003 21:23 IST

Peritoneal dialysis occurs inside the body. It uses your peritoneal membrane (the lining of you abdomen) as the filter. For this treatment, a tube called a catheter is surgically placed through the wall of your abdomen.

Special dialysis solution will flow into the peritoneum through the catheter. Waste products and excess fluids pass from the blood. They move through the peritoneal membrane, into the dialysis solution.

Then, they are drained from the peritoneal cavity. Peritoneal dialysis can be performed by hand or by using a machine. Tubing and bags are worn only during the solution exchange.

Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD)allows gravity to draw dialysis solution into and out of the peritoneal cavity, using a system of tubing and bags.

With CAPD, you connect tubing and a bag of sterile dialysis solution to the peritoneal catheter. By raising the bag to shoulder level or higher, the solution flows into the peritoneum. When empty, simply remove and throw away the tubing and solution bag.

During daily activities, the peritoneal membrane acts as a filter for you blood. Waste products and excess water transfer to the dialysis solution. After a few hours, you attach new tubing and an empty bag to the catheter. Then, lower the bag to drain the waste-filled fluid from the peritoneum.

    Connect the tubing set to the catheter.

    Drain out the used solution.

    Fill with the new solution.

    Disconnect the tubing set from the catheter.

    Throw away the used solution, disposable tubing and bags.

The number of exchanges per day, and length of time per exchange, varies by person. Usually, CAPD is performed four times a day. Each solution exchanges lasts about half an hour. Assist devices help people with problems seeing or with problems using their hands to do CAPD.


First Published: Oct 17, 2003 21:23 IST