The kidneys play an important role in purifying the blood. If you have limited kidney function, your body is unable to remove harmful toxins from the body, and this could affect the functioning of a number of organs. Hemodialysis cleans your blood using a special machine called a dialyzer. Taking over your kidneys’ functions in this manner will allow for your continued good health.


Preparing for Hemodialysis


Prior to your first appointment, a surgeon will create vascular access by inserting a connection between your artery and vein. This is done several weeks before your first treatment, as the area must have time to heal before you are able to receive hemodialysis. In emergency situations, you may have a temporary catheter placed in a large vein in your neck or groin.

What Happens During Hemodialysis?


A hemodialysis session normally lasts between three and five hours, and is performed three times each week. During your appointment, you will recline comfortably in a chair while your blood is being filtered through the dialyzer. You may read, watch television, or even take a nap while the machine does its work. A nurse will monitor your vital signs periodically to ensure there are no complications.


In Between Hemodialysis Treatments


You should limit the amount of liquids, sodium, and potassium you consume in your diet, and enjoy plenty of high-quality protein from meat, fish, poultry, and eggs. If you are underweight, you may need to add more calories to your diet in order to gain weight. Vitamin and mineral supplements are sometimes needed to replace those that are naturally missing from your diet.