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Your Child & Chronic Kidney Disease - Treatment options

Page 9

When the kidneys can no longer remove enough of the waste products and excess water from the body some other way has to be found to do the work of the kidneys. Dialysis is a treatment which can help to do this until a kidney transplant becomes available. In some children it may be possible to consider preparing your child for a KIDNEY TRANSPLANT before dialysis becomes necessary. This is called a PRE-EMPTIVE TRANSPLANT.

When dialysis is necessary two main types are considered.

The choice of dialysis for your child will be discussed with you after careful assessment. Peritoneal dialysis is usually carried out at home overnight whereas haemodialysis requires travel to the hospital several times a week.


Peritoneal dialysis cartoon

To be able to carry out peritoneal dialysis a soft tube (catheter) must be placed into the tummy (abdominal cavity) under general anaesthetic. The catheter does not enter a blood vessel and it must always be secured outside to the skin. The place where the catheter leaves the abdominal cavity (exit site) may be covered by a small dressing. The catheter is not painful but it may take a bit of getting used to at first.


Peritoneal dialysis uses the body’s own natural peritoneal membrane which lines the abdominal cavity. Dialysis fluid contains sterile water, salts and glucose (sugar). The fluid is run through the catheter into the abdomen and left to dwell. It draws out waste products and extra fluid from the blood vessels surrounding the peritoneal membrane which acts like a filter. After a certain amount of time the dialysis fluid is drained out through the same catheter and a fresh amount of fluid is run in to continue the process. This is what we understand by dialysis.

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Content compiled by members of the Children’s Renal & Urology Unit, QMC Campus, Nottingham University Hospitals.

The National Kidney Federation cannot accept responsibility for information provided. The above is for guidance only. Patients are advised to seek further information from their own doctor.

NKF Controlled Document No. 172: Treatment options written: 12/06/2004 last reviewed: 14/11/2020