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The principal role of the kidneys is the filtration and removal of waste products and excess fluid from the blood. Dialysis is a way of replacing kidney function in people whose kidneys have failed.

There are two main forms of dialysis: in haemodialysis, blood is taken from the patient’s circulation, passed through an artificial kidney, and returned to the patient; in peritoneal dialysis (PD), the internal lining of the abdomen acts as the artificial kidney.

For more information about peritoneal dialysis, click here.

Can anyone undergo peritoneal dialysis?

Peritoneal dialysis is a suitable treatment for most people with end stage renal failure (ESRF). People who have had several major abdominal operations may not be able to have the treatment, while individuals who are blind or have problems with their fingers such as arthritis can usually do PD, with the help of a special system and devices.

PD requires a lot of commitment from kidney patients and their families, and those receiving the treatment are usually responsible for their own dialysis, in their own homes. For this reason, PD may not be suitable for some people who have no support at home. Elderly people, living in nursing homes can sometimes get help to carry out their PD.