Results

If you had sudden (acute) kidney injury, you may need hemodialysis only for a short time until your kidneys recover. If you had reduced kidney function before a sudden injury to your kidneys, the chances of full recovery back to independence from hemodialysis are lessened.

Although in-center, three-times-a-week hemodialysis is more common, some research suggests that home dialysis is linked to:

  • Better quality of life
  • Increased well-being
  • Reduced symptoms and less cramping, headaches and shortness of breath
  • Improved appetite, sleeping patterns, energy level and ability to concentrate

Your hemodialysis care team monitors your treatment to make sure you're getting the right amount of hemodialysis to remove enough wastes from your blood. Your weight and blood pressure are monitored very closely before, during and after your treatment. About once a month, you'll receive these tests:

  • Blood tests to measure urea reduction ratio (URR) and total urea clearance (Kt/V) to see how well your hemodialysis is removing waste from your body
  • Blood chemistry evaluation and assessment of blood counts
  • Measurements of the flow of blood through your access during hemodialysis

Your care team may adjust your hemodialysis intensity and frequency based, in part, on test results.

Between treatments

Between hemodialysis treatments you can help achieve the best possible results from your hemodialysis by:

  • Eating the right foods. Eating properly can improve your hemodialysis results and your overall health. While you're receiving hemodialysis, you'll need to carefully monitor your intake of fluids, protein, sodium, potassium and phosphorus. A dietitian can help you develop an individualized meal plan based on your weight, personal preferences, remaining kidney function and other medical conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
  • Taking your medications as prescribed. Carefully follow the instructions from your health care team.
  • Allowing your team to assist you by discussing your concerns. Your health care team can present options to you and help you deal with any concerns.
July 26, 2016
References
  1. Hemodialysis. National Kidney Foundation. https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/hemodialysis. Accessed June 8, 2016.
  2. Treatment methods for kidney failure: Hemodialysis. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/hemodialysis/. Accessed June 8, 2016.
  3. Hemodialysis. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary_disorders/renal_replacement_therapy/hemodialysis.html. Accessed June 8, 2016.
  4. Berns JS. Patient information: Hemodialysis (Beyond the Basics). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 8, 2016.
  5. Kidney disease: Causes. National Kidney Foundation. http://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/kidneydiscauses.cfm. Accessed June 8, 2016.
  6. AskMayoExpert. Hemodialysis. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
  7. AskMayoExpert. Chronic kidney disease (adult). Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
  8. Consequences of frequent hemodialysis: Comparison to conventional hemodialysis and transplantation. Transactions of the American Clinical and Climatological Association. 2011;122:124.
  9. Skorecki K, et al., eds. Hemodialysis. In: Brenner & Rector's The Kidney. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 9, 2016.
  10. National Kidney Foundation. KDOQI clinical practice guideline for hemodialysis adequacy: 2015 update. American Journal of Kidney Diseases. 2015;66:884.
  11. Acute kidney injury (AKI). National Kidney Foundation. https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/AcuteKidneyInjury. Accessed June 15, 2016.
  12. Albright RC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 30, 2016.