What to Expect When You Need Dialysis

Medical exam

When the kidneys are not able to function properly as filtration systems for the body, patients may need dialysis to filter the blood of toxins, waste, and excess fluid. This treatment may be offered at dedicated dialysis centers or hospitals, and it is provided under the care of a nephrologist.

If you need hemodialysis, which uses a highly sophisticated machine to filter the blood, you will need to have treatment about 3-4 times weekly with treatment sessions that last about 3 hours. You will be seated during the treatment, and you can read, watch TV, or take a nap. The first few sessions may take longer and have side effects like nausea, cramping, dizziness, and headaches. Eventually these symptoms will subside and treatment will get easier, though you will likely continue to feel tired after each session with the dialysis machine.

At Regional Medical Center of San Jose, we have a highly trained staff specializing in both hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis , making it convenient for patients to schedule their care with us. For a physician referral to manage your chronic kidney disease, call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (408) 259-4000. 

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