Lifestyle

Peritoneal dialysis requires an outpatient surgical procedure to place a small catheter into your abdomen. Your surgeon will discuss with you the best location to avoid crimping the catheter on a pant or belt line.

Once your catheter is in place, you will have about 2-4 inches of tubing remaining outside of your skin.

Your dialysis can be done intermittently during the day or automatically by a machine at night while you sleep. The dialysate and supplies are completely portable, making it easy to travel with this form of dialysis.

Because this dialysis is done every day, the removal of toxins and fluid is similar to how normal kidneys function. You and/or your care partner will perform all aspects of the treatment. Training for peritoneal dialysis typically takes one week.

We are committed to helping you learn how to do home hemodialysis and to make sure you are comfortable with all of the procedures. While it may seem overwhelming to handle your dialysis on your own, you will be well-trained to handle your dialysis needs and handle any complications that may arise. Training takes place over the course of several weeks, with our team not only showing you how to set up and maintain your machine and manage your dialysis access, but also how to store all of your supplies, either at home, or while traveling.

Travel

If you are traveling for business or going on vacation, talk with your renal care team. The NxStage Dialysis System is the only portable hemodialysis system available. You may be able to have your supplies shipped direct to your destination but you will have to pack your NxStage machine and take it with you. Tell the dialysis team your travel dates so we can help get you organized. When possible, you should allow at least 30 to 45 days in advance of travel to ensure you have the right supplies where you need them and understand all of the proper procedures to set up and do your dialysis at your destination.

Work

Many people maintain active lives while on dialysis. If, however, you are not able to continue working due to disability once you start any type of dialysis, you can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance by calling 1-800-772-1213. You also can apply at the local social security office or through the human resources department at your place of employment.

Financial Concerns

If you have financial concerns, talk with our social worker. We may be able to find you resources to lower the cost of your supplies and care. If you have Medicare, or are eligible for Medicare, or have group health insurance, we can assist with applying for assistance and submitting the proper forms.

Emotional Concerns

It may be difficult for you to adjust to hemodialysis. You and your family may be nervous about using the dialysis machine at home or coping with any potential emergencies. Your feelings are quite normal. Our comprehensive home hemodialysis training program will do much to calm your fears and concerns. You also can contact any member of the dialysis team with any questions you may have.