Peritoneal Dialysis (PD)

Peritoneal Dialysis (PD)

Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is a way to cleanse the blood. It uses a natural membrane inside your body and a special solution (dialysate). The solution needs to be changed several times a day. This can be done as part of your home or work routine. Or it can be done at night by a machine.

How PD Works

PD uses the natural lining inside your abdomen called the peritoneal membrane. The abdomen is filled with dialysate. The membrane and dialysate then work to clean the blood. The dialysate needs to be changed every few hours. This is called an exchange.

Outline of human figure from the side showing catheter inserted in abdomen. Bag of dialysate is attached to catheter. Dialysate is flowing from bag into abdomen. Waste, fluid, and chemicals flow through peritoneal membrane in abdomen into dialysate. About two to three liters of liquid are used in each exchange. After a few hours, dialysate is drained out of abdomen into empty bag. Fresh dialysate is ready to fill abdomen.

Your Experience

  • PD is done at home.

  • A nurse or technician will teach you how to do PD exchanges.

  • You need to do 4-5 exchanges daily. They take about 30 minutes each.

There are two ways to do exchanges:

  • Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD). With this, you do your own exchanges every 4-6 hours during the day.

  • Cyclic peritoneal dialysis (CCPD). This uses a machine called a cycler. The cycler does most of your exchanges at night while you sleep.

Call your doctor or nurse if you have:

  • Fever of 100.4°F or higher

  • Chills

  • Dialysate that is cloudy or bloody when it drains from your body

  • Pain in your abdomen or around your catheter

  • Warm, red, or draining skin around your catheter

  • Blocked flow into or out of your catheter