Dialysis, or hemodialysis, is a treatment process that performs the functions of healthy kidneys. To help keep your body in balance, dialysis:
Removes waste, salt and fluids to prevent them from building up in your body
Maintains safe levels of potassium, sodium and bicarbonate in your body
Helps control your blood pressure
There are several types of hemodialysis available in Barron or at home, including:
Center-based hemodialysis — In a dialysis center, your hemodialysis treatments last from three to five hours and are typically performed three times per week. To do hemodialysis, you need to have access into your bloodstream. A surgical procedure creates bloodstream access for dialysis. For your center-based hemodialysis treatments, we offer Mayo Clinic Dialysis in Barron, Eau Claire and Menomonie. When you begin dialysis, you'll be treated in the hospital dialysis unit in Eau Claire. Your health care team will then work with you and your family to determine which of our locations will be the best place to receive your ongoing dialysis treatments.
Peritoneal dialysis — This treatment cleans your blood while it's inside your body using your belly as a natural filter. Peritoneal dialysis requires minor surgery to place a plastic tube called a catheter into your belly to create an access. This form of dialysis can be done at home during the day or at night while you sleep. Using the catheter, you fill your abdominal area with dialysate, a cleansing solution that draws the waste products out of your bloodstream. As you go about your usual activities, waste and fluid will flow into the solution. After you complete this process, you drain the used solution and put in clean fluid. This process is called an exchange.
Home hemodialysis — This type of dialysis is similar to conventional hemodialysis performed in a dialysis center except the dialysis machine is located in your home. After you and a partner learn how to operate the dialysis machine, you will perform treatments six times each week. Monthly check-ups with your dialysis training nurse and nephrologist are required.
We encourage you to speak with your health care provider about the benefits and risks of each dialysis option.