Home Hemodialysis Services
Home Hemodialysis (HHD) is another form of home dialysis that preserves patient autonomy. Rather than receiving hemodialysis at a dialysis unit or kidney center, Patients and their family may be trained on utilizing this technique in the privacy and comfort of their own home.
Initially, patients and loved ones are extensively trained on this technique for approximately one month, and then will be able to begin dialyzing at home. During this time, the patient may need to have a few simple modifications made to the home’s plumbing and/or electrical connections for the required equipment.
Loved ones can be trained on how to cannulate or ‘stick’ needles in a patient’s dialysis shunt, though many of our patients prefer to auto-cannulate or ‘self-stick’ using a buttonhole technique.
The buttonhole technique is a self-cannulation method which requires patients to insert their dialysis needles into the same spot each time they perform dialysis. This causes scar tissue to form at the insertion point and creates a tract, or hole, similar to the hole in a pierced ear. It generally takes three to four weeks for the hole to be created. Once the hole has formed, patients can use blunt dialysis needles instead of sharp ones. Blunt dialysis needles are more comfortable and safer to use.
Although each and every dialysis prescription is unique and tailored to meet an individual patient’s needs, most patients on HHD can expect to perform their dialysis treatments five to six days a week (typically in the evening) for two to two and a half hours per treatment. Due to the frequent treatments, appetite and energy levels often improve, and many patients feel as though they are not on dialysis at all! It may also be possible to liberalize some of the dietary and fluid restrictions that are unavoidable with conventional in-center hemodialysis.
The HHD machine is typically much smaller than a standard hemodialysis machine, about the size of a mini-refrigerator or microwave oven. Most importantly, it should be noted that this form of dialysis is covered by insurance, and there is no extra costs for the machine, etc!
Renal Hypertension Center nephrologists along with their home dialysis nurses train patients and their loved ones in this very effective technique.
If this form of dialysis interests you please call us today!