Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Peritoneal Dialysis
Dialysis is a treatment for kidney failure that helps filter
waste products from the blood when the kidneys are not working properly.
Peritoneal dialysis (PD) uses a membrane in the abdomen (the peritoneal
membrane) as a natural filter to clear wastes and extra fluid from the body and
to keep chemical levels in the body as close to normal as possible.
Peritoneal dialysis does not require travel to a dialysis center. The
dialysis process (called an exchange) can be done at home, often at night
during sleep. But it must be done on a continuous, daily basis.
The first step in peritoneal dialysis is called the Fill, in which the
dialysis solution enters the peritoneal cavity. The second step is the Dwell. During the Dwell step, while the solution is in the peritoneal cavity, extra fluid and waste from the
body travel across the peritoneal membrane into the dialysis fluid. The final
step is the Drain, in which the dialysis solution is drained after a few hours
and replaced with new solution.
There are different types of peritoneal dialysis:
Current as of:
November 20, 2015
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Tushar J. Vachharajani, MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
I Want To...
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.