Difference Between Hemodialysis and Peritoneal Kidney Dialysis

The kidneys are the filtering organs for the body, removing toxins that can impact the respiratory, cardiovascular and other systems of the body. When kidney failure occurs, those toxins buildup in the body, causing serious health issues and ultimately can be fatal. Kidney dialysis offers a solution to remove the toxins when the kidneys can no longer perform this function. There are two types of dialysis, hemodialysis and peritoneal, each with their own pros and cons.


With hemodialysis, the treatment is usually performed at a dialysis center. The patient is connected to a dialyzer by two needles, one removing blood that is filtered of toxins, the other delivering the filtered blood back to the body. Pros are that patients only need dialysis about three times per week and their other days are less incumbered, with more options for their diet and less fluid retention. Cons are that it must be done in 7-8-hour increments, with needed planning and travel involved.

Peritoneal Dialysis

With peritoneal dialysis, the filtering of the blood is done daily. The patient uses an at-home cycler that filters their blood each night, or during the day if preferred. The pros of this form of dialysis is that the patient is responsible for their own treatment and does not need to rely on a dialysis clinic for the procedure. There is no need to travel to a clinic a few times a week, which can make it easier for traveling. The drawback is that it removes less toxins, so it needs to be done daily.

Finding the best option depends on the patient’s health and lifestyle. Consulting a physician that specializes in kidney and vascular disorders can help determine which treatment is best for the needs of the patient.

Posted on behalf of:
Alan Benvenisty, MD
1090 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10025

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