Kidney failure can cause potentially life-threatening complications, but with expert hemodialysis, you can prolong your life and stay as healthy as possible. If you need hemodialysis, experienced surgeon Jacob Rinker, MD, FACS, and his team at Wyoming Medical Associates can help. They have considerable experience delivering exceptional hemodialysis treatments at their locations in Gillette and Casper, Wyoming. Call the office nearest you to find out more or book an appointment online today.
Hemodialysis Q & A
What is hemodialysis?
Hemodialysis is a treatment that you might need if you have kidney failure. The hemodialysis machine filters your blood when your kidneys are too badly damaged to do it properly themselves, extracting salts, waste matter, and fluid.
After checking your vital signs and getting you settled, your provider at Wyoming Medical Associates inserts two needles into an entry point in your arm and tapes them in place. The needles connect to plastic tubes that go to the dialyzer.
The dialyzer gradually filters your blood through the first tube. Waste products and excess liquids go into a cleansing fluid (dialysate), and then the filtered blood returns to your body via a second tube.
Patients normally need to undergo at least three hemodialysis sessions each week. You might only need hemodialysis temporarily for an acute kidney injury, but hemodialysis is a long-term commitment for most people.
Why might I need hemodialysis?
You might need hemodialysis if your kidneys fail. Some of the more common reasons for kidney failure include:
- High blood pressure
- Kidney inflammation
- Vasculitis (blood vessel inflammation)
- Polycystic kidney disease
Your kidneys can suddenly stop working because of serious illness, surgical trauma, or events like a heart attack. There are also medications that may cause kidney failure.
How is hemodialysis used in treating kidney failure?
Treatments for kidney failure include maximal medical therapy, which involves actively managing the complications advanced chronic kidney disease can cause, and kidney transplant.
The alternative is hemodialysis. You would normally begin hemodialysis before your kidneys reach the stage where they’re causing life-threatening complications. Deciding on when and if to start hemodialysis is something you and your medical team need to discuss, taking into account your:
- Current kidney function
- Quality of life
- Other health problems
- Personal preferences
While hemodialysis is a lifeline for many patients with kidney failure, it does present certain risks. The more knowledgeable and experienced your provider, the safer and more effective your hemodialysis treatment is likely to be, which is why Wyoming Medical Associates is such a good choice.
How is my hemodialysis treatment monitored?
The Wyoming Medical Associates team monitors your hemodialysis very carefully to make sure the treatment extracts the optimal amount of waste from your blood.
They keep a constant check on your blood pressure and weight at every hemodialysis session and perform monthly tests.
Monthly monitoring tests include blood draws to check how efficiently the hemodialysis cleans your blood, plus a blood chemistry evaluation and blood count assessment.
The team also measures blood flow and might adjust the intensity and frequency of your hemodialysis, depending on the results.
To find out more about the benefits and risks of hemodialysis, call Wyoming Medical Associates or book an appointment online today.