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Peritoneal dialysis |  Alto Alentejo newspaper

Peritoneal dialysis | Alto Alentejo newspaper

When the kidneys stop working, medicine provides alternative treatments, which may include a kidney transplant, dialysis, or peritoneal dialysis.

Organ transplantation is the best alternative to replace diseased kidneys. However, not all patients are eligible for transplantation, and in some cases, it is necessary to maintain the patient's balance until transplantation. This stabilization is achieved by keeping the patient on dialysis: dialysis is usually performed three times a week in the health unit or peritoneal dialysis.

Peritoneal dialysis is a technique that uses the peritoneum (which internally surrounds the entire abdominal cavity) to exchange blood, allowing waste from body functions to be cleaned and excess fluid eliminated.

This process is achieved by introducing a specific fluid tailored to the patient's needs into the abdominal cavity. To do this, a catheter (catheter) is implanted in the abdominal wall, with anesthesia. Tinckhof) one month before starting treatment.

Peritoneal dialysis is a painless process and is repeated daily, 3 to 4 times daily, depending on the clinical condition of the patient, and is performed autonomously or automatically by a pre-programmed device.

Over the years, the industry has developed more biocompatible dialysate fluids and more advanced machines to facilitate treatment and reduce treatment side effects.

It is the nature of self-treatment that gives one of the advantages of this technique, due to the freedom it provides to patients, with less impact on social and professional life compared to dialysis. Furthermore, the reduced need for travel between clinic and home has inherent economic advantages for the national health system, in addition to patient convenience.

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Despite the advantage of being an independent method, without the need for support from healthcare professionals, the assisted method is increasingly used in more dependent patients, who can benefit from this technique with the help of a caregiver (family members or nursing home specialists). or continuing care units).

According to data from the Portuguese Society of Nephrology, in 2022, 881 patients underwent this type of treatment, equivalent to 6.4% of the total number of chronic kidney disease patients undergoing dialysis in Portugal.

Despite the many advantages mentioned, there is no ideal or universal method, which is why it is important to have a healthcare system that offers patients the different treatment options provided by the country, in an integrated way, to minimize the impact. On the lives of patients.