Types of treatment

When severe loss of kidney function occurs, the kidneys function must be replaced. For many people a successful kidney transplant is the best way to do this. However, this treatment option is not possible for all patients and some patients have to wait a long time to receive a kidney transplant.

Peritoneal dialysis

Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is performed at home. The therapy can either be performed over night for 8-10 hours or in 4 to 5 short procedures during the day, which takes 1 to 2 hours per day to complete. However it is carried out peritoneal dialysis gives flexibility and can be fitted around work, family and social commitments. Usually patients come to the hospital outpatient clinic every 3-6 months for follow up. Many people on PD are able to enjoy a normal
diet without too many restrictions, but may need to moderate their intake of certain types of food.


Haemodialysis (HD) is usually performed in hospital or in dialysis clinics three or possibly four or more times per week. The procedure usually takes a minimum of 4 hours, but may take up to 6 hours. On top of the time for treatment, the dialysis day also involves travel to and from hospital or clinic, waiting for treatment to start, and waiting for transport home. In total, haemodialysis in hospital can take many hours, which has an impact on work, family and other commitments. Most people on haemodialysis must also restrict their diet and fluid intake.

Sometimes, other options for haemodialysis are available. These include self-care or home dialysis and also daily or nocturnal dialysis. These options aim to increase flexibility, allow a normal diet without too many restrictions, and improve quality of life for a patient on dialysis.

Every type of dialysis has its pros and cons and not all may be available at your dialysis clinic. By learning as much as you can about the types of dialysis, you will be able to make the best decision for yourself.

Read more about the different treatments below:

  Home haemodialysis
  Self-care and shared-care haemodialysis
  Peritoneal dialysis
  Automated peritoneal dialysis
  Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis
  Kidney transplant