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Health Information For Parents
Peritoneal dialysis is a medical treatment that uses the lining of the belly as a natural filter to take waste and extra water out of the blood. It can take over this job when the kidneys can’t do it.
The main job of the kidneys is to clean the blood. They take out extra water and waste (things the body doesn’t need). These leave the body as pee (urine).
When the kidneys don’t work as they should, waste quickly builds up in the body and makes a person sick. When the kidneys stop removing enough waste and extra water from the blood, the person has kidney failure. Then, the person needs dialysis to clean the blood because the kidneys can’t.
There are two types of dialysis: peritoneal dialysis (pair-eh-tih-NEEL dye-AL-ih-sis) and hemodialysis (hee-moh-dye-AL-ih-sis).
During peritoneal dialysis, a cleansing fluid called dialysate (dye-AL-uh-zate) goes into the belly. Waste and extra water seep across the lining of the belly into the dialysate, which then washes back out, bringing the waste and extra water with it.
Before starting peritoneal dialysis, kids need a soft, flexible tube (a catheter) placed into their belly. Doctors place the catheter while a child is asleep under general anesthesia.
Within 2 weeks, the surgical spot is healed and kids can start peritoneal dialysis treatments. Some may get the treatment earlier, if needed.
Peritoneal dialysis usually takes place at home. A caregiver (or the child or teen, if old enough) puts the dialysate into the body through the catheter. This can be done:
As blood flows through the blood vessels in the belly, waste and extra fluid pass across the lining of the belly into the dialysate. Important things like blood cells and proteins are too large to pass through the lining and stay in the blood. After about an hour, the dialysis machine or gravity drains the dialysate out of the body through the catheter, taking the waste and extra water with it.
The dialysate washes in and out of the belly 8–12 times during each treatment.
A peritoneal dialysis treatment takes about 8–10 hours. Most kids and teens get the treatments while they sleep each night.
There is some discomfort for a few days after the procedure to place the catheter. During the peritoneal dialysis treatments, your child should not feel any pain or discomfort.
Peritoneal dialysis does have some risks, including:
When kids need peritoneal dialysis, staying healthy helps them avoid problems and feel their best. Here are a few tips:
Kids and teens who get peritoneal dialysis can go to school or work. Dialysis is done overnight, so kids can still stick to their usual schedule. Jobs and sports with lots of heavy lifting or contact may not be OK to do. But even with some limits, kids still can do many things they enjoy.
Kids will need regular checkups and blood tests about once a month.
Some people need dialysis treatments for the rest of their lives. If so, they might switch back and forth between peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis, which is done in a special clinic called a dialysis center.
Dialysis is a medical treatment that can take over the job of cleaning the blood when the kidneys can’t.
Hemodialysis is a medical treatment that uses a machine with a special filter to take waste and extra water out of the blood.
Parents of kids who have a chronic kidney disease often worry about what might happen next, how their child feels, and what treatments are likely to be involved. Find answers here.
The kidneys play a critical role in health. When something goes wrong, it could indicate a kidney disease. What are kidney diseases, and how can they be treated?
If your child needs a kidney transplant, you’re probably feeling lots of emotions. Fortunately, many kids who undergo kidney transplants go on to live normal, healthy lives.
Sometimes, the kidneys can’t do their job properly. In teens, kidney disease is usually due to infections, structural issues, glomerulonephritis, or nephrotic syndrome.
The bean-shaped kidneys, each about the size of a child’s fist, are essential to our health. Their most important role is to filter blood and produce urine.
If the kidneys stop working, a person will need either dialysis or a transplant. Get the facts on kidney transplant in this article for teens.
The kidneys perform several functions that are essential to health, the most important of which are to filter blood and produce urine.
A renal ultrasound makes images of your child’s kidneys, ureters, and bladder. Doctors may order this test if they suspect kidney damage, cysts, tumors, kidney stones, or complications from urinary tract infections.
Dialysis is a medical treatment that can take over the job of filtering the blood until a person’s failing kidneys heal or are replaced with a kidney transplant. Find out more in this article for teens.
Hemodialysis is the type of kidney dialysis that doctors use most to take over the kidneys’ job of filtering the blood. Find out more in this article for teens.
This medical treatment helps people with kidney failure. It can be done at home, often overnight, to take over the kidneys’ job of filtering blood. Find out more in this article for teens.
Glomerulonephritis happens when tiny filtering units in the kidneys stop working properly. Most cases get better on their own or with treatment.
With glomerulonephritis, tiny filtering units in the kidneys stop working properly, causing problems like too much fluid in the body and swelling. Most of the time it can be treated. Find out more.
Long-term health problems associated with diabetes can affect many areas of the body. So it’s important to know about these complications and help prevent them.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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