Peritoneal dialysis involves surgically placing a soft plastic tube or catheter into the lining of the belly to flush out waste. Patients must undergo training for two weeks and are then able to perform the 30-minute dialysis themselves from the comfort of their home. Hemodialysis patients can spend up to four hours, three times per week, attached to a blood-cleaning machine at a dialysis center.
New research shows more patients with kidney disease would choose home-based peritoneal dialysis over visiting a dialysis center to receive hemodialysis, if only they were aware of their options. Although neither dialysis treatment is superior over the other regarding mortality and complications, they do differ in procedural time length and location.
Researchers surveyed nearly 650 patients at 37 dialysis centers around the country. The research shows that if given the option, kidney patients were 1.5-times more likely to rate peritoneal treatment as excellent than those who received hemodialysis. Researchers also say that their study suggests that the vast majority of patients who are undergoing hemodialysis could be making a decision on dialysis treatment on the basis of very inadequate information. Peritoneal dialysis patients are far more happy with their care than hemodialysis patients.
Researchers conclude that probably the growing pressure to fill hemodialysis centers may be contributing to the decline of peritoneal patients.