Difference Between Haemodialysis and Peritoneal Dialysis

Haemodialysis, like peritoneal dialysis, require the artificial filtration and rebalancing of body fluids. The blood-based therapy and the abdominal cavity-based treatment are distinctive from one another. Dialysis and hemodialysis are two distinct but complementary approaches of treating kidney failure. This article delves a bit deeper to determine what those specific distinctions are.

The kidneys play a critical role in maintaining human health. They aid in the process of eliminating toxins from the body via urination. The kidneys assist rid the body of excess salt, water, acids, and salts, and they also filter out any drugs we may have ingested.

When the kidneys are diseased or no longer work, the body is unable to maintain its delicate internal balance. Dialysis is a medical procedure that purifies a patient's blood in an artificial manner. To rephrase, the kidneys' natural roles as filters and regulators have been taken over by technological substitutes.

Dialysis can be performed using one of two different methods. Haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis are two such methods.

What is Haemodialysis?

Hemodialysis is a procedure where blood is extracted and purified in a laboratory setting. Dialysis is performed by connecting a machine called a dialyzer to a vein and artery in the patient's arm. The blood is extracted from the body, processed in the machine to clean and balance the blood's components, and then reintroduced to the original body.

It is common practice to insert a temporary catheter into an arm vein prior to beginning therapy. A fistula is a surgically created permanent access link.

This form of dialysis requires the patient to remain seated or laying flat for the duration of the three to five-hour session. Dialysis patients frequently experience fatigue and hypotension after treatment.

Effective haemodialysis does call for certain dietary sacrifices, though. Intake of salt and water, for instance, is strongly discouraged. A further limitation is the elimination of high-potassium and high-phosphorus foods from the diet. These limits are necessary to keep a healthy fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. It is essential to comply, as it would be counterproductive to undo the treatment's effects.

Associated Risks − Warning signs are common with haemodialysis. These might include −

  • Symptoms include dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, and vomiting as well as low blood pressure and shortness of breath.

  • Enhanced itching that occurs often right after therapy

  • Trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up with a full night's sleep interrupted by snoring or apnea

  • Extremely high levels of fluid or salt

  • Damage to the heart's outer lining due to inflammation

  • Difficulties gaining entry to the site

  • Low Moods

What is Peritoneal Dialysis?

An internal kind of dialysis is peritoneal dialysis. Specifically, within the belly button area. Blood can be filtered internally by inserting a catheter into the peritoneum, the lining of the abdominal wall. Patients on dialysis must constantly replenish their access point with a special fluid called a dialysate filter. After passing through the abdominal walls, the dialysate filter fluid cleans and balances the blood components before draining into a bag. The patient or designated carer will empty the contents of this collecting bag.

Patients do not need to take time out of their day to undergo dialysis because it can be performed at night. A peritoneal dialysis catheter infection can reduce membrane function in the abdominal lining and pose a risk for infection.

Dietary restrictions are less severe with peritoneal dialysis than with haemodialysis. Because of this, adjusting to life on dialysis is less of a challenge.

Associated Risks − There are other potential dangers and difficulties with peritoneal dialysis. Among them may be the following −

  • Shedding of abdominal muscular tissue due to tension from retaining the therapy fluid

  • Gaining weight due to the high sugar content of the treatment medium.

  • Colonization of the abdominal lining

While getting therapy has the potential for certain risks and complications, this does not mean that they will inevitably manifest.

Differences between Haemodialysis and Peritoneal Dialysis

The following table highlights the major differences between Haemodialysis and Peritoneal Dialysis −



Peritoneal Dialysis

Area dialyzed

Blood directly through arterial and venous access

Dialysis fluid is pumped via the abdominal wall.

Frequency of dialysis

3-5 times a week

Every day

Potential side effects

lethargy and low blood pressure

Deterioration of bones

Major risks of treatment

Contamination threat, Weakened membrane function

Hernia, Weight fluctuations, Infection


When other therapies have failed, dialysis (whether haemodialysis or peritoneal) can save the lives of those with severely compromised kidney functioning. In contrast to peritoneal dialysis, which uses the abdominal cavity to access the blood, haemodialysis operates on the blood directly.

There is a degree of danger and potential consequences with each treatment choice. The two different forms of therapy each have their own advantages. For instance, while haemodialysis is superior for severely compromised kidney function, peritoneal dialysis is convenient since it may be performed while the patient sleeps.

Treatment options and outcomes will vary based on a number of factors, such as the nature and extent of the ailment, the patient's preferences, their lifestyle, the clinic's resources, and the expertise of the treating physician.

Updated on: 23-Jan-2023


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