Peritoneal dialysis (PD)
Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is a “self-caring” dialysis treatment that you learn to carry out yourself at home.
Peritoneal dialysis fluid is drained into and out of the abdomen in cycles via a comfortable plastic tube on the front of the tummy. The insertion of the tube, known as a PD catheter is a simple procedure that can be done in a day.
There are two types of PD:
- Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD), also known as the manual bag exchange, is often used when people start on PD when only a low dose is needed (see below) and is advised for people who prefer to dialyse during the day.
- Automated peritoneal dialysis (APD) is an overnight treatment using a machine by your bed to cycle the dialysate fluid in and out of your body during the night while you sleep.
How frequently you perform PD will be different for each individual. Your doctor and nursing team will work alongside you to ensure that you are on the correct prescription. This depends on your remaining kidney function and how you feel. The aim is to determine the prescription that fits in best with your usual activities.
People on CAPD usually start on two-three exchanges, five-six days a week, but as kidney function drops with time, more dialysis is required. Once up to four exchanges, many people prefer to use the cycler machine at night (APD). You can also start on APD if this fits in best with your lifestyle. Again, you may start on five-six nights a week and gradually increase time on the machine and frequency as your kidney function goes down with time.
If you have specific personal circumstances, such as storage issues and needing assistance in carrying out PD, please discuss this with the home therapies team.
How will I be trained to perform peritoneal dialysis at home?
Most of our patients are trained off-site at the Baxter Education centre; please see the Baxter Education centre brochure and the Baxter Education centre leaflet for more information.
However, as required, some patients may be trained on-site at Hammersmith hospital by the PD nursing team.
About this page
- Last updated
- Author Giuseppe Prima