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haemodialysis at The London Clinic

The London Clinic dialysis unit is managed by a team of specialist renal nurses and consists of four dialysis stations, using the latest haemodialysis machines. We have a ratio of one nurse to two patients, and a wide range of consultants who are available to assist when required.

We will do our best to accommodate patients based on their chosen date and preferred times, making the unit favourable to holiday makers, business and transient patients, as well as to our regular outpatients and inpatients. We can accommodate overseas visitors wishing to dialyse while in London.

During their haemodialysis treatment sessions at The London Clinic, patients have use of electrically operated reclining chairs and flat screen LCD televisions with inbuilt Freeview channels with headphones. During your dialysis sessions to help pass the time, you can read, listen to music, use your mobile phone, play video games or sleep. A selection of sandwiches, tea, coffee and biscuits are also available for patients on request.

After the dialysis session has been completed, the needles are removed and a plaster is applied to prevent bleeding.

What is Kidney dialysis?

In the normal, healthy body, waste products are removed from the blood by the kidneys. This allows the body to get rid of toxic products we create, such as the urea (the waste product formed from the breakdown of proteins and usually passed in urine), as the body repairs its tissues. The kidneys also play a vital role in the control of salt and water balance in the body.

If the kidneys start to fail, both of these functions can start to go awry. Serious illness develops and although various treatments are available to control some of the symptoms, the kidneys cannot recover. Eventually, if end-stage kidney failure develops, you will need to have your blood cleaned artificially, by dialysis. This involves the removal of extra water and waste substances from your blood.

The two most commonly used are haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis:

  • Haemodialysis: in which the blood is transferred from the body usually through a catheter placed in one of the large veins in the arm. and passed through an artificial kidney within a dialysis machine (a kidney machine) where it is purified of excess waste and excess fluid before being returned. This type of dialysis involves three sessions a week, each lasting for approximately four hours each time.
  • Peritoneal dialysis: the peritoneal is a thin membrane that surrounds your abdominal organs.. Waste products and excess fluid are moved out of the blood through the peritoneum and into dialysis fluid, which has been poured into the space around your peritoneum. The dialysis fluid (and waste) is then drained from the cavity.  Peritoneal dialysis normally involves four 30 minute sessions a day. 

Pros and cons of haemodialysis

The main advantage of haemodialysis is that it is only required three or four times per week, leaving you with three or four dialysis-free days. The process is self-contained and leaves you free to continue a largely normal life for the rest of the time.

Haemodialysis is not painful, although some people experience some symptoms of nausea, dizziness or muscle cramps during dialysis due to the changes in your blood fluid levels.

The main disadvantage of haemodialysis is having to fit these long sessions of treatment into your week, along with travelling time to and from the renal unit. Haemodialysis also restricts your ability to travel, as you will need to arrange local haemodialysis at your destination. Haemodialysis also puts severe restrictions on your diet and fluid intake to make sure you can maintain your fluid balance.

Trade names quoted are given as examples only of the drug types described, alternatives may be available.

Dialysis Referral Form

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