Author: Jeffrey S Berns, MD | Content provided by UpToDate.com.
Dialysis and kidney transplantation are treatments for severe kidney failure, also called kidney (or renal) failure, stage 5 chronic kidney disease, and end-stage kidney (or renal) disease. There are two types of dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
When the kidneys are no longer working effectively, waste products, electrolytes (such as potassium, phosphorus, and acids), and fluid build-up in the blood. Dialysis takes over a portion of the function of the failing kidneys to remove the fluid and waste products. Kidney transplantation can even more completely take over the function of the failing kidneys.
The article linked below discusses these therapies, including the advantages, disadvantages, and care required for kidney transplantation and dialysis. You and your family should discuss all of the options with your healthcare provider to make an informed decision.