Renal Replacement Therapies

Renal Replacement Therapies

Renal replacement therapies are a group of treatments that are used to replace the purpose and work of damaged kidneys, replacing these actions artificially. This may be a necessary step for people suffering from complete renal failure. The main types of renal replacement therapies currently used are: hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, and renal transplant.

Types of Renal Replacement Therapies

  • Hemodialysis: Hemodialysis is the process of removing harmful waste and extra salt from the blood via a semi-permeable membrane and an artificial kidney machine. This is usually done three times per week.
  • Peritoneal dialysis: Peritoneal dialysis is a process in which fluid is infused into the peritoneal cavity and secretes wastes and fluids from the blood. This is usually done daily or multiple times per day.
  • Renal transplant: Renal transplant, also known as a kidney transplant, is a life-saving procedure where a kidney from a healthy donor is transplanted into a patient with renal failure.

Benefits of Renal Replacement Therapies

Renal replacement therapies can offer many benefits to those afflicted with renal failure, including better survival rates, fewer physical complications, and improved quality of life. Hemodialysis also reduces the risk of complications associated with heart or stroke, while peritoneal dialysis can reduce the risk of infections. Renal transplantation is the only option for long-term survival for those affected by acute and chronic kidney failure.

Drawbacks of Renal Replacement Therapies

Renal replacement therapies come with some potential drawbacks for those affected by chronic kidney failure, including:

  • Blood clots, which can lead to stroke or heart attack
  • Infection due to the use of dialysis machines
  • High costs associated with dialysis and transplantation