Imagine your kidney as the filter and waste disposal machine of your body. The human body produces and metabolizes several substances. Blood transports the waste of metabolized substances to the kidney which will filter and remove extra fluid and toxins from the body.
When the kidneys fail to work, which can be caused by several conditions, including infection, chronic diseases, stones, and many more, the body needs to find other means to do the job. Fortunately, medical scientists have developed a machine to replace some functions of the kidneys.
The hemodialysis machine can help maintaining the equilibrium of the patient’s body by:
- Removing waste from blood
- Restoring the proper electrolyte balance in the blood
- Eliminating extra fluid from the body
Dialysis comes from the Greek word “dialusis” which means dissolution. Blood flows through tubing into the machine, where it passes next to a filter membrane. A specialized chemical solution, dialysate, flows on the other side of the membrane. The dialysate is formulated to draw impurities from the blood through the filter membrane. Blood and dialysate never touch in the artificial kidney machine.
Significant planning is required if hemodialysis is to be considered as an option. The attending doctor, who may include a group of specialists, like a kidney specialist, an internal medicine specialist, and possibly a surgeon, will discuss the necessities of the treatment. Even though there may not be many options when a patient has reached this stage of renal disease, some risks of hemodialysis should still be considered.
Possible complications may include:
- Low blood pressure (hypotension). This is the most common complication of hemodialysis. It is seen more often in women and in people older than 60.
- Muscle cramps. If cramps occur, they usually happen in the last half of a dialysis session.
- Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia).
- Nausea, vomiting, headache, or confusion (dialysis disequilibrium).
- Infection, especially if a central venous access catheter is used for hemodialysis.
- Blood clot (thrombus) formation in the venous access catheter.
- Technical complications, such as trapped air (embolus) in the dialysis tube.
While long-term complications of dialysis may include:
- Inadequate filtering of waste products (hemodialysis inadequacy).
- Blood clot (thrombus) formation in the dialysis graft or fistula.
- Cardiovascular disease (heart disease, blood vessel disease, or stroke).
Even the best dialysis machine cannot perfectly replace the kidneys. Studies show it only replaces 10% of the kidneys’ function. However, in cases of severe kidney failure or end stage renal disease, it has proven to be effective in improving the patient’s quality of life and increase his or her life expectancy. If hemodialysis is an option to consider, it has to be discussed thoroughly with the attending doctor in order to evaluate the risks and benefits of having the treatment properly.
The new Dialysis Centre at BIMC Hospital Nusa Dua, which is about to be opened soon, is designed to provide dialysis services using the latest high-tech instruments, all to be experienced in a dedicated Spa-style comfort environment, leaving no room for any concerns of quality or safety. The whole process is supervised by an Australian nurse with long-term experience in dialysis procedures.
The Dialysis Centre will open its doors end of April 2012 and for bookings please contact us on +62 361 761263 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.