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What Is Hemodialysis?

September 15, 2020
A man undergoing hemodialysis


What is hemodialysis?

  1. Why Hemodialysis Is Done
  2. The Procedure of Hemodialysis
  3. How Can You Prepare for a Hemodialysis
  4. How Often Is Hemodialysis Done?
  5. The Benefits and Outcomes of Hemodialysis


Did you know that kidney diseases are the 7th leading cause of death among Filipinos? 120 Filipinos develop chronic renal failure, and more than five thousand Filipino patients have to undergo kidney treatments per year. Hemodialysis in the Philippines has definitely kept the kidneys and lives of many individuals running. So if you’re either looking for where to get hemodialysis or want to look into the process, here is everything you need to know about it. Continue reading for more.


Why Hemodialysis Is Done

A hemodialysis room in a hospital

If you didn’t already know, your kidneys are a complex organ in your body. It produces urine, gets rid of waste in the body, eliminates unneeded and toxic chemicals in the blood, and keeps salt and acid at the right levels.

When kidney failure occurs or your kidney function goes below the Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR0), your kidney will not be able to filter your blood and generate urine. This causes a much bigger problem.

Toxins will eventually build up in your body along with excess fluid. This is where hemodialysis comes in — it is a life-supporting treatment that is done to help address kidney failure. If one does not get hemodialysis when kidney failure occurs, waste and toxins will build up in the body. This can lead to complete kidney failure, or even worse, the cardiovascular system can stop.

It is important to note that you may already be experiencing kidney failure even if you are not encountering any symptoms. This is why we cannot stress enough how important it is to do annual checkups with your doctor.


The Procedure of Hemodialysis

So how does hemodialysis work? Before you begin hemodialysis, you will need to undergo a minor surgery called vascular access. There are three access types for vascular access: arteriovenous (AV) fistula, AV graft, and central venous catheter. Your doctor will be the one to decide which one is best for you depending on the severity of your case.

The vascular access will enable your body to be connected to a machine called a dialyzer, which cleans your blood by removing the toxic waste and extra fluid. Afterward, the cleaned blood will be pumped back into your body.

You’re probably wondering if the procedure is uncomfortable. Usually, the procedure will not cause pain or discomfort. However, symptoms such as cramps, headaches, and nausea may occur.


How Can You Prepare for a Hemodialysis

A man's vascular access for hemodialysis

Of course, before you undergo hemodialysis, you will need to be checked by a doctor. Your doctor will be the one to determine when you will start the procedure, and the type of vascular access you will need to undergo. Your doctor will typically assess your condition based on your overall health, the status of your kidney, the severity of your signs and symptoms, and will consider your personal preference as well.


How Often Is Hemodialysis Done?

Hemodialysis is not a one-time procedure. It usually takes about four hours and will be done at least several times a week, depending on your case. This is highly recommended to be done in a hospital. This way, you will be maintained by professionals, and won’t have to experience any hassle.


The Benefits and Outcomes of Hemodialysis

A happy patient after hemodialysis

As stated above, hemodialysis is a great treatment for those with kidney diseases. It is life-supporting. Without it, many would be at high risk of even more serious complications.

Apart from allowing patients to continue living their normal lives, hemodialysis also holds other benefits such as:

  • It requires less time than other types of dialysis. Others take between at least ten to twelve hours per day.
  • Compared to other treatments for kidney complications, hemodialysis requires less surgical interventions.

Although hemodialysis is a treatment for kidney diseases, it is not a cure. It will not completely heal one’s failing kidneys. If you’re lucky, you will only need a number of sessions of hemodialysis. However, there are some who need hemodialysis for the rest of their lives to maintain kidney function and keep the body in good shape.


Key Takeaway

Hemodialysis is a life-supporting treatment for those with kidney complications. It cleans out your toxins and helps you live your normal life. If you’re looking for a place to get expert hemodialysis in the Philippines for you or your loved one, you can reach out to the Perpetual Help Medical Center-Las Pinas by visiting us here at Alabang-Zapote Rd., Pamplona III Las Pinas City, Philippines 1740 or by calling us here at (+632) 8874-ALTA | (+632) 8874-8515.

The Perpetual Help Medical Center-Las Pinas has expanded its Hemodialysis Center to cater to patients with COVID-19. Our advantage is we are hospital-based and we are capable of giving care even to high risk, emergency cases, and patients with COVID-19.

Lastly, always make sure to care for your kidneys. It is vital for overall health. Look after it by eating right and maintaining a healthy body.

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