Home hemodialysis is a different way of doing hemodialysis. Instead of having to go to a dialysis center 3 times a week for treatments that are about 4 hours long, a person doing home hemodialysis does his or her treatments at home. There are different types and schedules of home hemodialysis, but the most common is more frequent home hemodialysis, in which the patient does shorter treatments (about 2.5 to 3 hours) more often (5 or 6 days per week) at home.
More frequent dialysis keeps the amount of toxin and water build-up to a minimum, which makes the treatment shorter and may reduce or eliminate many side effects patients experience. The patient and a care partner (usually a family member or friend) are trained by the dialysis center nurses to do their treatments safely at home. Doing dialysis more often is closer to how healthy kidneys work. Many patients report – and various studies have confirmed – that compared to three-times-weekly in-center hemodialysis, more frequent home hemodialysis may offer the following health and quality of life benefits:
- Lower risk of death
- Less stress on the heart
- Better blood pressure control with fewer medications
- Much quicker recovery time after treatment
- Improved appetite and the ability to drink more
- Fewer depressive symptoms
- Better mental and physical health
- More energy and vitality
- Feeling of being in control of treatment and life
- Ability to travel
Despite the health benefits that more frequent home hemodialysis may provide to those with chronic kidney disease, this form of therapy is not for everyone. The reported benefits of more frequent home hemodialysis may not be experienced by all patients. The risks associated with hemodialysis treatments in any environment include, but are not limited to, high blood pressure, fluid overload, low blood pressure, heart-related issues, and vascular access complications. The medical devices used in hemodialysis therapies may add additional risks including air entering the bloodstream, and blood loss due to clotting or accidental disconnection of the blood tubing set. Certain risks are unique to the home. Treatments at home are done without the presence of medical personnel and on-site technical support. Patients and their care partners must be trained on what to do and how to get medical or technical help if needed.
To learn more about the responsibilities and risks of more frequent home hemodialysis, please click on Responsibilities & Risks of More Frequent Home Hemodialysis, and talk to your doctor to see if more frequent home hemodialysis with NxStage is right for you.
This section of our website has been created for dialysis patients like you who may be considering more frequent home hemodialysis. It provides important information on how more frequent home hemodialysis with the NxStage System One may help you feel better and return to a more normal routine.