Also known as: renal dialysis, dialysis.

What is hemodialysis?

Hemodialysis is a medical procedure that cleans and filters the body’s blood with a machine that’s sometimes known as an artificial kidney. It’s a procedure that is necessary in the case of kidney failure. The kidneys usually handle the task of cleaning the body’s blood.

What happens during the procedure?

Hemodialysis is typically done at a treatment center. An IV is hooked up to the patient’s arm, and the blood is filtered through a machine while the patient waits. This process takes several hours and must be performed a few times each week. Other forms of hemodialysis can be performed at home.

Is any special preparation needed?

A surgery to create an access point for hemodialysis is required prior to undergoing regular treatments. The nature of this surgery will vary depending on the type of dialysis that is needed.

What are the risk factors?

Muscle cramps, low blood pressure, itching, sleep problems, anemia, high blood pressure, fluid overload, access site problems or depression are a few potential complications related to hemodialysis.

Reviewed by: Felix I Ramirez-Seijas, MD

This page was last updated on: August 11, 2020 02:24 PM


The Division of Nephrology at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital treats kidney disorders and provides comprehensive evaluation of renal functions, including kidney biopsies.

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