Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is the preferred choice among home dialysis treatment options and in testament to its efficiency, reliability and cost savings, the government of Malaysia has officially adopted a ‘PD First Policy’.
The biggest advantages of peritoneal dialysis over traditional hemodialysis is the ability to be flexible with the treatment as well as enjoying additional benefits such as fewer medication and a less restrictive diet. Treatments can be done at home, at work or even at a holiday destination.
To begin preparing for peritoneal dialysis, you will first need to have a catheter (Tenckhoff catheter) inserted through your belly (dialysis access) into the peritoneum. PD catheter placement is considered a minor operation, and complications are rare. It often requires general anesthesia, but the whole procedure takes less than one hour of surgical time. Most catheters have two Dacron cuffs that remain inside the abdominal wall to keep it in place. Placement is usually done 10 to 14 days before the dialysis begins. Training will then be provided by our nurses at the hospital and at home to the patient and the patient’s caregiver(s).
During treatment, a fluid called dialysate is inserted into the peritoneal cavity through the catheter. The dialysate is then kept in the peritoneal cavity for a specific amount of time. This is called the dwell period. During this period, waste and extra fluids is absorbed into the dialysate. The dialysate is then drained and replaced with a fresh batch. The filling, dwelling and draining process is called a cycle and is repeated several times to emulate the natural function of the kidneys.