In-Center Hemodialysis

In-center hemodialysis is the most common type of dialysis.  Patients visit a center to receive treatment. Some centers even offer nocturnal dialysis, which is done at night while you are sleeping.

Hemodialysis involves accessing the bloodstream through a surgically-prepared access site that allows blood to pass through a special filter of a dialysis machine, be cleansed and return to your body. There are two access options:

Fistula

This surgical procedure connects your artery and vein, usually in your forearm. This method is often the best kind of access because your own tissue is used, which means a lower chance of infection and clotting.

Graft

This option uses a tube to connect your artery and vein under the skin. A graft might require additional maintenance or repair, but can last for several years.

Time Commitment: 3 treatments each week.  Each treatment lasts 3–4 hours.

Advantages:

  • Treatments are administered by well-trained medical professionals and highly- skilled technicians.
  • Centers have three different treatment shifts.
  • Dietitians and social workers are available to help you meet your physical and emotional needs while on dialysis.
  • While you dialyze, you are free to enjoy activities such as reading, listening to music or browsing the Internet.
  • You can socialize with other dialysis patients.

Disadvantages:

  • It requires you to travel to and from a dialysis center three times a week on a fixed schedule.
  • Two needles will need to be inserted by staff for every treatment.
  • There are diet restrictions you have to follow.