Can You Go on Dialysis Temporarily?

When your kidneys are not working properly, your doctor may recommend you start dialysis treatment. Learn more about why this treatment is needed and whether it is something that is temporary or something you will need for the rest of your life.

What Does Dialysis Do?

Kidneys are responsible for helping the body naturally remove excess water, toxins, and wastes from the blood. If excessive water, toxins, and wastes are not removed from your blood, it causes them to build up and eventually cause life-threatening problems ranging from organ failure, coma, or even death.

Healthy kidneys are able to eliminate all these excessive toxins and wastes from the blood naturally. However, if damage occurs to the kidneys, either from an illness or injury, the body is unable to filter these toxins out. That is why dialysis is needed. This type of treatment will remove the toxins and wastes from the blood when the kidneys can no longer naturally do it.

There are three different dialysis treatment options available to patients. Those options include:

  • Intermittent hemodialysis
  • Continuous renal replacement therapies
  • Peritoneal dialysis

The type of treatment that is used will depend upon why it is needed, the patient’s comfort levels, personal situation, and current health, and cost.

How Long Do You Need to Undergo Dialysis?

How long you will need to undergo treatment will depend upon why it is needed. In some situations where the kidneys are only temporarily damaged, dialysis may not be needed long-term and you will only need to undergo this type of treatment for a limited time. However, in situations where the kidneys are permanently damaged, treatment will be needed on a more long-term basis.

Temporary dialysis may be recommended in the following situations:

  • Development of an acute kidney condition that causes the kidneys to stop working properly
  • Consuming toxic substances
  • Overdosing on drugs
  • Experiencing a traumatic kidney injury
  • Complications from chronic heart disease have developed and need to be relieved

Treatment is often only needed it until the kidneys improve in health. The length of time this type of treatment is needed will vary and can range from several weeks to several months.

When is Dialysis Needed Long Term?

Dialysis is needed long-term when it is being used for chronic kidney failure. This type of treatment allows a person with chronic kidney failure to continue to enjoy life without developing life-threatening problems.

If a person with chronic kidney failure undergoes an organ transplant, he or she may not need this type of treatment anymore. However, that depends upon the success of the transplant procedure.

Have questions about dialysis? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Lauer at Associates in Nephrology. Dr. Lauer specializes in the treatment of kidney disease and administering dialysis. Call us today to schedule an appointment.