What is Home Hemodialysis?

Dialysis is a treatment that replaces some of the work of your own kidneys. Dialysis clears wastes and extra fluid from your body.

Home hemodialysis is dialysis treatment at home. Since 2002, there has been a gradual increase in the number and percent of all United States dialysis patients treated by home hemodialysis.

Types of Home Hemodialysis:

  1. Conventional HHD: done three times a week for three to five hours. It is like in-center hemodialysis (IHD), but done at home.
  1. Short daily home hemodialysis: This schedule calls for hemodialysis five to seven times a week using machines designed for short, daily home treatment.
  1. Nocturnal home hemodialysis (NHHD): done three to seven times per week at night during sleep, for six to ten hours.
  1. Peritoneal Dialysis Usually performed 4-5 times per day, with or without a machine. 

(Continuous cycling peritoneal dialysis a form of peritoneal dialysis usually performed at night using a cycler)

Advantages of Home Hemodialysis:

  • Easier to fit into your daily schedule
  • The convenience of not having to travel to a dialysis center three times a week
  • Independence and being in control of your own treatments
  • Likelihood of a better health outcome over time (better blood pressure, anemia, and phosphate levels).
  • Having family members and visitors
  • Your access may last longer.
  • Less exposure to sick patients with potential infectious diseases.
  • Traveling is easy since you can pack the machine and take it with you.

Disadvantages of Home Hemodialysis:

  • Initial anxiety about duties and device malfunction
  • Training for  is not offered by all dialysis centers
  • More space is needed in your home for equipment and supplies
  • A care partner is generally needed
  • Training may take three to eight weeks
  • Some plumbing and wiring changes in your home may be needed
  • Electric, gas and water bills may increase slightly
  • Less social interaction
  • Your care partner may tire of this role

 Benefits of Home Hemodialysis Compared to in Center Dialysis:

  • Take less medication to control high blood pressure and anemia.
  • Take less medication to keep high blood phosphorus under control.
  • Have improvements in neuropathy (nerve damage) and symptoms of restless leg Syndrome.
  • Feel better during dialysis and less “washed out” after dialysis, and have more energy for daily activities
  • Have fewer limits on their diet and fluid intake and Improve nutritional status.
  • Have fewer and shorter hospital stays, live longer and healthier.

How has COVID-19 Impacted Dialysis Care? Dr. Rastogi explains the effect the pandemic has had on dialysis patients here.

Disclaimer: The UCLA Health System cannot guarantee the accuracy of such information. The information is provided without warranty or guarantee of any kind. Please speak to your Physician before making any changes.