Dialysis: Types, Procedure, Purpose, Complications, Side Effects


Treatment Duration


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4 Hours

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Kidneys are the vital organs of our human body performing various specialised functions, including controlling the volume of various body fluids, acid-base balance, electrolyte concentration and elimination of toxins from the body etc. In case of malfunctioning kidneys, the patient might face severe consequences such as chronic kidney disease (CKD). The only treatment for CKD is a kidney transplant or lifetime dialysis.

Procedure Name Dialysis
Alternative Name Renal Replacement Therapy
Conditions Treated Chronic Kidney Disease, Acute Kidney Injury, Nephritis, Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis, End Stage Kidney Disease

Benefits of Procedure

Enhances life quality, Improves cognitive function, Nutritional benefits
Treated By Nephrologist

You can check Dialysis Cost here.

What is Dialysis?

Dialysis is a medical procedure that aids in replacing the normal working of kidneys in people with non-functional kidneys. In this, the excess water, toxins, metabolic wastes and other solute substances are eliminated, and the blood is filtered. This technique is generally employed when 85-90% of the kidney function is lost.

Types of Dialysis

There are three major types of dialysis each of which are employed accordingly:

  1. Hemodialysis

    1. In hemodialysis, a hemodialyser which is also known as an artificial kidney is utilised for the removal of excess fluids and waste from the body.
    2. The blood is passed through the hemodialyser outside the body, filtered and returned to the body via a dialysis machine. It is usually conducted a week thrice for 3 to 5 hours per session.
    3. The hemodialysis can be performed at a hospital, doctor’s clinic or dialysis centre. The duration of treatment might vary depending on the severity of the case.
  2. Peritoneal dialysis (PD)

    1. The PD involves the implantation of a PD catheter into a patient's abdomen via surgery. The catheter tube aids the infiltration of blood through the peritoneum layer of the abdomen. During the process, dialysate flows through the peritoneum layer.
    2. This special fluid absorbs the waste and draws it out of the bloodstream. This process is required to be repeated several times a day.
  3. Continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT)

    1. The CRRT is utilised for patients with acute renal failure in the ICU. The machine passes the blood via tubing for filtration.
    2. The purified blood is returned to the body. This process is usually conducted on a daily basis for 12-24 hours, varying accordingly.
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Conditions treated with Dialysis

Dialysis is used to treat the following conditions:

  1. Chronic Kidney Disease
  2. Acute Kidney Injury
  3. Nephritis
  4. Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis
  5. End Stage Kidney Disease

Reasons for Kidney Failure

Usually, kidney failure is a consequence of several other serious health disorders that damage the kidneys over the years. Kidney failure is an end-stage of chronic renal disease. The most common reasons contributing to renal inadequacy are:

  1. Diabetes mellitus
  2. Hypotension 
  3. Inherited diseases (Polycystic kidney disorder)
  4. Autoimmune diseases
  5. Nephrotic syndrome
  6. Age factor
  7. Inappropriate drug administration
  8. Urinary tract infections

Risks and Complications of Dialysis

Dialysis is a life-saving procedure. However, there are various risks associated with the process:

  1. Abdominal muscle weakening
  2. Hernia
  3. Weight gain
  4. Muscle cramps
  5. Anaphylaxis
  6. Weakening of bones
  7. Peritonitis (Infection in peritoneum layer)
  8. Irregular heartbeat

Cost of Dialysis

Usually, each hemodialysis treatment lasts about four hours and is done three times per week. Cost of each session ranges from about Rs.2500-Rs.5000.

Procedure Name Cost Value
Dialysis Rs.2500-Rs.5000

Expert Doctors

Dr. Suman Lata Nayak
Hexa Partner


26+ Years




Dr. Anupam Bhargava
Hexa Partner


46+ Years




NABH Accredited Hospitals

CDAS Super Speciality Hospital

CDAS Super Speciality Hospital

4.55/5(78 Ratings)
Sector 47, Gurgaon
Diyos Hospital, Safdarjung Enclave

Diyos Hospital, Safdarjung Enclave

4.83/5(53 Ratings)
Safdarjung Enclave, Delhi

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Although fistulas take two to six weeks to mature whereas grafts are ready in two to six weeks, surgeons prefer to use fistulas because they are stronger and have a lower risk of infection than grafts. However, when a patient has narrow, clogged, or damaged veins, a transplant is recommended.


While dialysis is a safe operation, it does come with many problems and dangers. Itching, sleep issues, joint discomfort, and muscle cramping are some of the less significant symptoms. Others, such as high or low blood pressure, infection at the location, pericarditis, anaemia, and high potassium levels, are more harmful.


Yes, washing hands, surgical masks, using antiseptic wipes and checking supplies to assure cleanliness are all critical steps. It's done to prevent infection for both the patient and the health care staff involved. The patient must also follow a particular diet that is high in protein and low in potassium, phosphorus, and manage fluid consumption.


Yes, there are a few situations where dialysis is only required for a short time before kidney function restores. However, if dialysis is used to treat renal failure, it will be continued indefinitely or until the patient obtains a kidney transplant.

Other than hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis, the only effective treatment for kidney failure is a kidney transplant.

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