What You Should Know About Peritoneal Dialysis – Part 2

Hello, and welcome back to our blog here at Hemowear. This is part two of our blog series about what you should know about peritoneal disease. Read part one if you haven’t already or keep reading to learn more.

Potential Risks

Although peritoneal dialysis may seem like the saving grace for anyone faced with choosing a dialysis option, there are some risks involved.


After several years of being on peritoneal dialysis, some patients find that this dialysis option becomes ineffective and need to make the switch to hemodialysis.

Weight Gain

Dialysate is the fluid in a dialysis process that flows through the dialyzer. Although this is discarded along with the toxic substances, some of it can be absorbed by the body. Since dialysate contains sugar (dextrose), this could mean taking in several hundred extra calories a day. If you have diabetes, this could result in high blood sugar.


One common complication of peritoneal dialysis is an infection of the abdominal lining (peritonitis). There can also be infections where the catheter is inserted into the abdomen, however, the risk of infection is highest among people who don’t perform the procedure correctly, or were not adequately trained.

How It Works

During a peritoneal dialysis treatment, dialysate will flow into your abdomen and remain there for around four to six hours. This is known as dwell time. Dextrose within the dialysate works to remove extra fluid, waste, and other chemicals from the blood vessels around the abdominal cavity. The resulting fluid is drained into a collection bag. There are two main exchange schedules for a peritoneal dialysis treatment.

Continuous Cycling Peritoneal Dialysis (CCPD)

CCPD uses an automated cycler to process several exchanges overnight while you sleep. Once you wake up in the morning, you can empty the sterile bag. Since you’re connecting and disconnecting to the dialysis machine less often, you may have a lower risk of peritonitis.

Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD)

CAPD is the alternative to CCPD. During this schedule, you’ll need to perform three to five exchanges during the day and another at night with a longer dwell time. The benefit to this is that you’ll be able to perform exchanges at work, home, or any clean environment and go about your normal daily activities while the dialysate dwells.

Dialysis training is an important part of the peritoneal dialysis process. Since you won’t be in-center, and you won’t have the supervision of a medical professional or caregiver, you’ll work with a dialysis nurse for one to two weeks in order to learn how to do exchanges and prevent infections. You should plan on bringing a family member or friend to dialysis training because if you ever need assistance with the process, you’ll have someone to call. By choosing automated peritoneal dialysis, you’ll learn about preparing the cycler, placing the drain tube, and connecting the bag of dialysate fluid.

Additionally, you’ll learn how to do exchanges manually if there were ever to be a power failure or you need an exchange during the day rather than only at night. There are several changes you’ll need to make after starting peritoneal dialysis including your daily routine, physical activity, diet, and medication. You should speak with your doctor and take notes so that you know exactly what you need to do. Depending on whether you’re doing your exchanges during the day or at night will determine how your schedule is affected and your diet will depend heavily on your current health condition and which type of dialysis you choose.

Speak With Your Doctor

There’s a lot to take into consideration when deciding between different dialysis options. It’s important to speak with your doctor to see what’s right for you, your current kidney condition, as well as your lifestyle and preferences.

As a dialysis patient, you need clothing that allows for easy vascular access without having to remove your clothes or be uncomfortable during treatment. At Hemowear, we have all the clothing dialysis and chemotherapy patients need including pd belts, dialysis jackets, t-shirts, hoodies, and much more for both men and women. Contact us today to learn more.