Characteristics of Haemodialysis and Peritoneal dialysis

There are two kinds of dialysis. In hemodialysis, blood is pumped out of your body to an artificial kidney machine, and returned to your body by tubes that connect you to the machine. In peritoneal dialysis, the inside lining of your own belly acts as a natural filter.


Haemodialysis is a way of replacing some of the functions of your kidney, if your kidneys have failed, by using a machine to filter and clean your blood. It is the most common type of dialysis and the one most people are aware of.

At dialysis centres, this is usually carried out 3 days a week, with each session lasting around 4 hours.

It can also be done at home. Some examples of a home dialysis include:

  • 4 times a week for 4 hours
  • 5 times a week for 3 hours
  • 6 days a week for 8 hours overnight

During the procedure, a tube is attached to a needle in your arm.  Blood is pumped out of your body to the machine where it is passed through a series of tiny tubes, in an ‘artificial kidney’ or ‘dialyser’.

Peritoneal dialysis

Peritoneal dialysis is a way to remove waste products from your blood when your kidneys can’t adequately do the job any longer. This procedure filters the blood in a different way than does the more common blood-filtering procedure called hemodialysis.

Kidneys contains thousands of tiny peritoneum blood vessels, making it a useful filtering device.

Peritoneal dialysis uses the inside lining of your abdomen (the peritoneum) as the filter, rather than a machine. Before treatment starts, a incision (cut) is made near your belly button and a thin tube called a catheter is inserted through the incision and into the space inside your abdomen (the peritoneal cavity). This is left in place permanently.

This can be done by a machine overnight while you sleep.  


HaemodialysisPeritoneal dialysis
Take only 3 to 5 hours per treatment. Can be performed immediately.
Requires complex water treatment, expensive dialysis equipment and highly trained personnel.Can be performed by patient anywhere without assistance.
Confines patient to special treatment unit.Allows for more liberal diet.
Requires surgical creation of vascular access between circulation and dialysis machine. Requires small amount of heparin or none at all.
Requires large doses of heparin. Allows patient independence without long interruption in daily activities.
Requires only three treatments weekly. Requires less complex equipment and less specialised personnel.
Risk of more complications. Costs less.
Characteristics of haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis