The Kidney Clinic


What is Hemodialysis?

Hemodialysis is a form of kidney failure treatment that helps to remove waste products and excess fluids from the blood when the kidneys are no longer able to perform their normal function. This dialysis treatment involves the use of a special machine called a hemodialysis machine that filters the blood, removes the waste products and extra fluids, and returns the clean blood to the body.

During hemodialysis, the patient’s blood is removed from their body through a needle or catheter inserted into a vein, and then it is passed through the hemodialysis machine’s filters to remove excess fluids and waste products. The cleaned blood is then returned to the body through another needle or catheter.

Hemodialysis is typically prescribed for patients with end-stage kidney failure, which means their kidneys have lost nearly all their ability to function. It may also be used to treat acute kidney failure or as a temporary measure while waiting for a kidney transplant. Hemodialysis is usually performed several times a week, with each session lasting four hours.

What Does It Mean for a Patient to Undergo Hemodialysis?

For a patient to undergo hemodialysis, it means that their kidneys are no longer functioning properly, and they require this medical treatment to remove excess waste products and fluids from their blood. Hemodialysis is a vital therapy for patients with end-stage kidney disease, as it helps to prevent the build-up of toxins and fluids in their body, which can lead to serious complications such as heart disease, stroke, and death.

To receive hemodialysis, a patient will typically need to visit a dialysis center several times a week, where they will be connected to a hemodialysis machine. During the treatment, the patient’s blood will be circulated through the machine, which will remove the waste products and excess fluids before returning the cleaned blood to the patient’s body.

Hemodialysis is a life-sustaining treatment, and patients who require it will need to continue the therapy for the rest of their lives unless they receive a kidney transplant. Hemodialysis can significantly improve the quality of life for patients with kidney failure, allowing them to maintain a more normal lifestyle and avoid serious health complications.


What is the Difference Between Hemodialysis and Peritoneal Dialysis?

Peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis are two forms of renal replacement therapy used to treat patients with end-stage kidney disease, but they differ in several ways:

  1. Method of blood filtration: Peritoneal dialysis filters blood inside the patient’s abdomen using the peritoneum as a natural membrane, while hemodialysis filters blood outside the body using a machine and artificial membrane.
  2. Treatment setting: Peritoneal dialysis can be performed at home or work by the patient or caregiver, whereas hemodialysis is typically done at a hospital or clinic by trained healthcare professionals.
  3. Frequency and duration of treatment: Peritoneal dialysis is usually done daily, with each treatment taking several hours, while hemodialysis is typically done three times a week for several hours per session.
  4. Type of equipment needed: Peritoneal dialysis requires a sterile bag of dialysate, a catheter, and a place to drain used dialysate. Hemodialysis requires a dialysis machine, needles, tubing, and a dialyzer.
  5. Diet restrictions: Peritoneal dialysis generally allows for a more liberal diet, while hemodialysis requires dietary restrictions on foods high in potassium, phosphorus, and sodium.
  6. Risk of complications: Peritoneal dialysis carries a risk of peritonitis, which is an infection of the peritoneum, while hemodialysis carries a risk of low blood pressure, muscle cramps, and access site infection.


The choice between peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis depends on the patient’s lifestyle, medical condition, and personal preferences. Peritoneal dialysis may be preferred by patients who desire more independence, while hemodialysis may be preferred by patients who require more intensive medical monitoring and support.

Treatment Options

Monitoring and maintaining of optimum level of blood sugar along with treatment of other conditions, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Do you have a question about your kidney or medical condition?

Reach out to us for a consultation with Dr Alvin Ng. 

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