When you get diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (kidney failure), you’ll definitely be needing some form of treatment or another to manage your condition and avoid further complications. There are various types of treatment options for you to choose from. Your Nephrologist or Healthcare Specialist would know what suits you best, so be sure to consult with them first before making your decision.
What are the treatment options for kidney failure?
Hemodialysis, or Dialysis is a treatment process where blood is circulated by a machine through an artificial kidney called Dialyzer. This temporarily replaces the kidney’s function and removes waste and excess fluids from the body. Treatment duration and frequency varies from clinic to clinic, and would depend on your doctor’s orders, but the standard here in the Philippines is 4-5 hours, 2-3x a week. Before being able to undergo this form of treatment, a patient must first have an access (AV Fistula, graft, or catheter) surgically created. Dialysis or Hemodialysis is the most common form of treatment for Kidney Failure here in the Philippines.
is another form of treatment a ckd patient can choose. This is process where a solution (Dialysate) is circulated into the part of the abdomen via an abdominal catheter and filters excess waste from the blood stream. After a prescribed period of time, the solution is then drained and replaced a fresh one. Though this form of treatment is not for everyone. A patient must be properly trained first and must possess the ability to care for himself/herself, or be able to acquire a reliable caregiver. The advantage of this type of treatment is the flexibility to which the patient can do the fluid exchanges. It can be done at home, at work, or even while traveling, thus creating more freedom compared to Hemodialysis where you need to go to a clinic and stay there for a couple of hours to get treated. The disadvantage is that the catheter is prone to infection. It’s also a bit expensive and time-consuming since the patient will be the one responsible acquiring the necessary supplies and making preparations.
Being able to acquire a new kidney to replace the diseased ones is the best form of treatment a kidney failure patient can get. This is where a kidney is taken from a donor (living-related or cadaver) and surgically placed within the patient’s (recipient) body. A successful kidney transplant can last for a long time, as long as the patient takes good care of it and constantly communicate with the healthcare/transplant team. Unfortunately, not everybody could afford the cost of the procedure, not to mention the difficulty of finding a willing and healthy organ donor. Alternatively, a patient could enter the waiting list for cadaveric kidney transplant donors. The average waiting time for this list is 3-4 years or even longer.
These are among the treatment options a kidney failure patient can choose from. There’s no such thing as a perfect treatment option. What a patient chooses will depend on his or her personal and financial preferences. the advise of his Nephrologist or Healthcare Team, and the capacity to perform or undergo the type of treatment he or she wishes to take. That being said, I would just like to reiterate that the options mentioned above are not cure for chronic kidney failure, but just temporary replacements for kidney function. The kidneys, when they are all well, works around the clock to filter waste and perform all the things it’s supposed to do. These treatments do them for just a short or specified amount of time. So you see, there’s still nothing that can fully replace a healthy kidney’s function.
Whatever form of treatment you choose, be sure to pick the one that would suit and benefit you best. Don’t forget to consult first with your doctor or healthcare expert before making the big decision. An optimal treatment would result in better disease management and less complications.