dialysis-300Depending on the severity of your hyperoxaluria, your kidneys may eventually stop working. Dialysis is a treatment used to replace some of the kidney’s function of cleaning the blood of toxins and removing extra fluids. There are two types of dialysis

Hemodialysis cleans blood by removing it from the body and passing it through a dialyzer, or artificial kidney. The dialyzer is a filter with two parts: one for blood and another for a sterile dialysis cleansing fluid, called dialysate. The filter between these two parts has very small pores, allowing some tiny particles to pass through. The particles that are filtered include the toxins that need to be removed from the body such as urea, creatinine and potassium, while larger blood cells and protein the body needs cannot pass through. The filtered blood is then returned to the body. The process of removing blood from the body, filtering it and returning it takes time. Hemodialysis treatment usually takes three to five hours and is repeated three or more times a week.

Peritoneal dialysis cleans your blood inside your body. Dialysate flows through a catheter into your abdomen (belly). Waste, chemicals and extra fluid in your blood pass from tiny blood vessels (capillaries) in the lining of your abdominal cavity (peritoneum) into the sterile cleansing solution —dialysate. The solution contains a sugar that draws wastes and extra fluid through the capillaries in your peritoneum into your abdomen. The solution, along with the waste products from your blood and any excess fluid, drain into a sterile collection bag. With peritoneal dialysis, treatments can be done at home (while you are sleeping), at work or while traveling.

Kidney dialysis is only temporary since dialysis typically does not remove the amount of oxalate formed or absorbed in the body. Dialysis continues until a new kidney can be transplanted. While on dialysis, most patients with primary hyperoxaluria, will continue to build up oxalate in body tissues, thus developing oxalosis.

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