Comparing dialysis options

There are different benefits and considerations for PD, ICHD and HHD. Please remember that every patient differs in terms of age, medical condition, physical condition and lifestyle choices. Discuss medical and lifestyle considerations with your healthcare team to understand all the treatment options. Below is a quick comparative chart for different types of dialysis.

Type of dialysis Benefits Points to consider
  • Fit your treatment around your lifestyle (e.g. flexibility for work, school, and other activities)
  • Portable and flexible – easy to take your therapy with you when you travel or go to the cottage
  • Continuous therapy is gentler and more like your natural kidney function
  • Fewer visits to the dialysis unit for treatment
  • No needles
  • Independence – you typically perform your therapy yourself
  • Can do dialysis therapy while you sleep
  • Exchanges need to be made daily
  • Need for a permanent access catheter
  • Some chance of infection
  • May show a slightly larger waistline (due to carrying fluid)
  • Storage space required in your home
  • Some fluid and diet restrictions
  • Regular contact with other hemodialysis patients and staff
  • 3 treatments per week (4 days off)
  • No need for keeping equipment/supplies at home
  • Immediate access to medical help during therapy
  • Travel to centre/unit 3 times a week, on a fixed schedule for an average of 4 hours each treatment
  • Need for permanent access
  • Insertion of 2 needles for each treatment
  • Some fluid and diet restrictions
  • Possible discomfort such as headache, nausea, leg cramps, tiredness
  • Help from family members
  • More control over when you dialyze
  • No travel to a clinic or hospital for treatment
  • Works during sleep for some people
  • Need for permanent access
  • Some risk of infection
  • Insertion of 2 needles for each treatment
  • Some fluid and diet restrictions
  • Training may take a minimum of 4 to 6 weeks
  • Storage space required for equipment and supplies