Find out what to expect from your appointments with our dialysis service.

About dialysis

When taking a decision with your team about dialysis, the first choice is about whether you could manage your kidney replacement therapy best at home, or in hospital. When first starting dialysis with remaining kidney function, either peritoneal dialysis or haemodialysis might fit best into your lifestyle, and might work very well. You can change your mind and move between types with time, however, as you lose residual kidney function and perhaps stop passing urine, peritoneal dialysis becomes less of a viable option.The decision is individual and we welcome discussing this with you in your kidney clinic.

Peritoneal dialysis

Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is a “self-caring” daily dialysis treatment that you learn to carry out yourself at home, we may be able to provide assistance for some who need it. Peritoneal dialysis fluid is drained into and out of the abdomen in cycles via a comfortable plastic tube on the front of the tummy which remains safely in place – a peritoneal dialysis catheter. There are two types of PD: Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) is for people who prefer to dialyse during the day. Automated peritoneal dialysis (APD) is an overnight treatment through which an APD machine by your bed is used to run the dialysate solution in and out of your body during the night whilst you are asleep.

Haemodialysis

Haemodialysis (HD) is provided as an outpatient in a dialysis centre, with the assistance of our specialist nurses. If you would like to have the freedom of HD at home please ask about this option and we will help you to see if this can be achieved with training from our home therapies team.There are two types of vascular access, an arterio-venous fistula (AVF or fistula for short) which is a natural connection of blood vessels under the skin on the arm, and a haemodialysis catheter (TesioCath) which are two comfortable plastic tubes on the front of the chest above a breast.

Many people are equally suited to either option. However, for a variety of reasons our specialists may guide you towards a particular type of dialysis if we feel it is the better treatment option for your circumstances. We will provide you with a range of information to help you decide. Before being accepted onto either of these programmes you will need a formal assessment, which will be explained in more detail at your hospital appointment.

Hear from Dr Neill Duncan, clinical lead for dialysis:

When you come to hospital 

Before your appointment

You can bring a relative, close friend or carer with you to your appointment. You are welcome to ask for a chaperone and we will endeavour to provide one for you. An examination may be required at your appointment, so please wear comfortable clothes. We recommend you bring your appointment card, a list of medications you are taking, and anything else specified in your letter with you to your appointment. We also recommend you bring a list of questions for the doctor. For all new patients please do not forget to bring in one proof of ID, like your passport, and one proof of residency such as a utility bill.

During your appointment

Please report to the reception desk when you arrive.

Please note that we are a teaching hospital, so medical students may be present for some appointments. If you do not wish to have them in the room please let the nurse or doctor know and the students will be asked to step outside.

During your appointment, you will be reviewed to check how your dialysis treatment is progressing. You will have the opportunity to discuss any concerns or possible adjustments to your treatment. The nurse or doctor will ask if you have any concerns or need any support. You may need an examination, blood test or scans.
You also have the opportunity to meet with a dietitian or a renal counsellor.

After your appointment

We will send a letter to you and your GP. You will receive a follow-up appointment at a later date.