Hemodialysis is a medical procedure performed to treat advanced kidney failure. The abnormal functioning of the kidney can lead to an abnormal buildup of the waste products and fluid in the blood. In such cases, a dialysis machine is used to filter waste products from the blood andrestore normal constituents to it.
Preparation for the procedure
- Despite the advancements in procedure and equipment, hemodialysis is still a complicated therapy that needs coordinated working of the health care team, patient, and their family.
- The patient needs to undergo a procedure to create a temporary or permanent “access,” a special way of accessing the blood in the blood vessels, several weeks to months before actual hemodialysis begins.
- Dialysis may be done in a hospital, a clinic associated with a hospital, or a free-standing clinic
- The physician does a physical examination and checks the vital statistics of the patients
- Hemodialysis involves circulating the patient’s blood through special filters outside the body i.e. extracorporeal circuit(ECC).
- Two needles are inserted into the patient’s vein or access site and are attached to the ECCconsisting of plastic blood tubing, a filter known as a dialyzer-artificial kidney.A dialysis machine that monitors and maintains blood flow is also included.
Patients suffering from chronic renal failure need to undergo hemodialysis for three sessions every week for 3-4 hours in each session.
Risk and complication
- The patient may experience lightheadedness, low blood pressure, shortness of breath, abdominal and muscle cramps, nausea, or vomiting. Patients must follow the correct diet and medicinal regime to avoid such side effects.
- The other risks include bleeding from the access site, dialyzer reaction, electrolyte imbalance, infection, anemia, and cardiovascular disorders.
Uses of Hemodialysis
- Hemodialysis performed as a treatment procedure for a patient suffering from acute and chronic renal failure.
- It removes toxins from the blood and maintains the electrolytes balance by replacingkidney function.
- Hemodialysis is also useful in cases of drugoverdose or poisoning.
- Travelers should plan in advance for the hemodialysis procedure and should select a destination after doing thorough research about the hospital, place, staff, and language.
- Medical tourists are advised to wear comfortable clothes and to select a handicap-accessible hotel room for recovery after getting a discharge from the hospital.
- Inform the surgeon about smoking and alcohol habits, recent test results, treatment and medications, and insurance.
- Carry extra medications and written prescriptions and healthcare provider contact information.
- Keep recreational options like books or music handy to pass the time.