Peritoneal Dialysis

Peritoneal dialysis (PD) uses the space in your belly called the peritoneal cavity to clean your blood. PD doesn’t use a dialyzer. This space is lined with a membrane called the peritoneum. It surrounds and protects your intestines, bowel, and other organs. The membrane has many tiny holes that can be used to filter waste out of your blood while keeping blood cells and proteins in your vessels.

PD usually works all day, everyday. To have PD you must have an access, which is a soft, flexible tube called a catheter surgically placed in your belly. The bottom part of the tube is put into the peritoneal cavity. The middle part of the tube runs under your skin. The top part stays outside of your body and can be taped against your skin.

A liquid called dialysate travels through the catheter and fills the empty space in your belly. This liquid stays in the space while waste products and extra fluid move from your blood through the membrane into the dialysate. The dialysate with the waste products and extra fluid is then drained out of your body. Next the space in your belly is refilled with the clean dialysate and the cleaning process begins again. The process is called an exchange. Your kidney doctor will tell you how many exchanges you should do each day and how long the dialysate should stay in your belly for it to work.

There are two kinds of PD:

  1. Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD) or;
  2. Continuous Cycling Peritoneal Dialysis (CCPD), sometimes called Automated Peritoneal Dialysis (APD).

To compare dialysis facilities and their treatment outcomes: Dialysis Facility Compare

African American man with nurse