Automated Peritoneal Dialysis

APD is a peritoneal dialysis modality which works in the same way as CAPD but exchanges occur whilst you sleep with the help of a ‘cycler’ machine. You will have your day time free.


How does APD work?

With APD a machine helps to perform the removal of wastes and excess water from your body over a period of 8-10 hours while you sleep during the night. The machine measures the fluids needed for each exchange and times the delivery, dwell and drainage carefully and automatically.

There is a connection to the APD machine in the evening. The treatment happens all night while the patient sleeps and a disconnection from the APD machine occurs when the patient wakes up in the morning. Just before disconnection, a ‘last fill’ solution is usually infused in the peritoneal cavity which will stay in the abdomen during the day. Some patients may need to do one extra exchange during the day.

Average training time is about 10 days and thereafter the patient will be able to perform the treatment at home.

Machines and equipment

The machines are the size of a small wheeled suitcase and are easily portable. The machine is designed to cope with normal sleeping patterns. The treatment can be interrupted to enable you to do things which require you to leave your bed (e.g. visit the bathroom).

Newer machines have programmable data cards — prescribed treatment details can be programmed onto this and data from each dialysis session can be captured. Apart from the machine, patients need to have some spare space in their homes to store the PD fluids and supplies.