What is peritoneal dialysis?

Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is the easiest and simplest form of home dialysis and has excellent outcomes. It is considered to be an “at home or on-the-go” dialysis option and is ideal for patients who want to remain independent while undergoing dialysis.

PD uses your body’s own internal lining of the abdomen – the peritoneal membrane – as a filter to cleanse your blood and remove excess fluids.

How does it work?

PD cleans your blood by using the lining of your abdomen.  We do this by inserting a catheter into your abdomen. A sterile fluid is passed through the catheter into the abdominal cavity where it absorbs toxins. The fluid is then drained and discarded.

There are two main ways to do PD:

– One method is to pass fluid into and out of your abdomen about four times a day, depending on your schedule.  This is called continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis, or CAPD.

– Another method allows fluid to pass through and out of your abdomen during the night while you sleep.  This is called continuous cyclic peritoneal dialysis, or CCPD.

Is this the best way of doing dialysis?

All of methods of dialysis are equal in effectiveness.  It depends on what is best for you and your lifestyle.
Use the My Life, My Dialysis Choice tool to help you choose the right treatment for you.

If I chose peritoneal dialysis, what should I expect?

– We will talk you through this type of dialysis before you chose to do it.
– Initially, we will see you every week to pass some fluid through the catheter to ensure it is working well.
– After approximately four weeks we will start training you how to dialyze yourself at home.
– You will have a dedicated nurse whom you can call or text with questions any time day or night.
– We will see you every month in one of our clinics with your physician, dietician, nurse and social worker.

Advantages of peritoneal dialysis

  • It is simple to do
  • Daily dialysis is more like your normal kidney function
  • It allows for more independence and flexibility because you control your treatment times
  • It is easier for those who travel or work
  • It requires only one clinic visit a month instead of 3 times a week with in-center hemodialysis
  • It offers better blood pressure control
  • It prolongs remaining kidney function


Which Dialysis Method is Best For You?