Treatments for kidney failure 

If the kidneys (almost) no longer work, different treatments are possible: hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, transplantation or conservative treatment. Which treatment suits you depends on your medical situation and your personal wishes. The animations below explain the different treatments.


In hemodialysis, the artificial kidney of a dialysis machine cleans the blood. Dialysis takes 3 to 4 hours at a time and must be done a few times a week. Hemodialysis can be done at home or in a special center and during the day or at night.

Peritoneal dialysis

With Peritoneal dialysis the blood is filtered through your peritoneum. Dialysis is done with a special rinsing fluid and can be done during the day or at night. During the day you change the liquid 3 times a day yourself. At night a machine next to the bed does that.

Kidney transplantation

With a kidney transplant you get a kidney from someone else. That can be a deceased or a living donor. A living donor is often a family member, partner or close friend. You have to wait about 3 years for a kidney from a deceased donor. In the meantime, you are on dialysis. A kidney from a deceased donor has an average of 10 years. A kidney from a living donor averages 20 years.

Conservative treatment

When your kidneys gradually fail, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant. But maybe you do not want a big treatment at all. You can then decide to only use medication and follow a suitable diet. This is called a conservative treatment. The kidneys will deteriorate more and more and eventually you will pass away. How long this takes can not be said. It can be a few months or a few years.

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