Haemodialysis is a process of removing waste products and extra fluid, which build up in the blood when the kidneys are no longer able to function properly.
Most patients will require three sessions a week, with each session lasting around four hours. Two needles will be inserted into patient’s AV fistula or graft. One needle will slowly remove the blood and transfer it to a dialysis machine. The dialysis machine is made up of a series of membranes that act as filters and a special liquid called dialysate. The membranes filter waste products from your blood, which are passed into the dialysate fluid. The used dialysate fluid is pumped out of the dialyser and the filtered blood is passed back into your body through the second needle.
Haemodialysis is not a painful procedure, but some patients might feel a bit sick and dizzy, and may have muscle cramps during the procedure. This is caused by the rapid changes in blood fluid levels that occur during the treatment. After the dialysis session, the needles are removed and a plaster is applied to prevent bleeding.