Dialysis. When everyone hears that word, the first thing that pops up in their mind is Hemodialysis. This is where blood is taken out of the body, filtered, and then returned to the body. But did you know that there are 3 different types of modalities? Modalities are the different types of dialysis, well when we are talking about dialysis! Modality is simply defined as “A particular mode in which something exists or is experienced or expressed”.
Hemodialysis has 2 types.
The first, and most commonly thought of is “In center”. In center is where 3 days a week for about 3-5 hours you are in a dialysis center hooked up to a machine. This type of modality is great for people who want to be hands off as far as their treatment or they don’t qualify for the other types. This type is exhausting; many people leave the center just worn out and take long naps afterwards. The in-center machine looks like this
The second type of Hemodialysis is “Home Hemo Dialysis (HDD)”. This is the type my husband currently does. This type is basically just like the “In Center” but it is done at home. You either have a Catheter or a Fistula. (You need either of these in order to do In-Center as well!)
A catheter is like this
A Fistula basically connected an Artery to a Vein and looks like this
I could describe how hemodialysis works but this description is much better “The dialyzer, or filter, has two parts, one for your blood and one for a washing fluid called dialysate. A thin membrane separates these two parts. Blood cells, protein and other important things remain in your blood because they are too big to pass through the membrane. Smaller waste products in the blood, such as urea, creatinine, potassium and extra fluid pass through the membrane and are washed away.”
I pulled that from the National Kidney Foundations website at: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/hemodialysis
Home Hemodialysis has 2 types of machines and they are focused on you as a person rather than how well they dialyze.
The first one, and the one my husband uses is the Nxstage
This one is for the patients that enjoy traveling. This machine you can take along with you.
The 2nd machine is the Fresenius Baby K which is basically a mini version of the in-center machine and can’t be traveled with because of its size
Home Hemodialysis takes about 2-5 hours for about 5 days a week. You can choose to do 5 days a week with 2 days off, 2 days on/1 day off, or 6 days on/1 day off. The more days you do, the shorter your treatment is. My husband does 5 days on/ 2 days off (Not consecutively) at 3 hours 4 minutes. This works well for us because neither of us work so we can select whatever time of day is best for what is going on that day.
I will go over the 3rd type of dialysis in a later post. I didn't want to create a huge blog post that was so full of information. Again, if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask in the comment section!