What is Hemodialysis?

Dialysis is a treatment option when your kidneys fail – meaning they are no longer able to do their job to keep your body healthy. There are different types of dialysis. Dialysis can be done at home or in a clinic. It can be done during the day or at night. It is important to learn about all your options so that you can find a treatment option that works best for you and your family.
Hemodialysis is a treatment that removes wastes and extra fluid from your blood. During hemodialysis, your blood is pumped through soft tubes to a dialysis machine where it goes through a special filter called a dialyzer (also called an artificial kidney). Smaller waste products, such as urea and creatinine, and extra fluid, move from your blood through the membrane, and are removed. As your blood is filtered, it is returned to your blood stream. Only a small amount of blood is out of your body at any time.
To get your blood into the dialyzer, you will need an access into the bloodstream for placing needles needed for hemodialysis into your blood vessels. This is done with minor surgery, usually to your arm.
You can watch the following video for more information on hemodialysis: