What is Dialysis?

Dialysis is a treatment that performs the function of normal kidneys. It is needed when your own kidneys cannot function normally.

Dialysis is needed when you develop end stage kidney failure, this occurs when you lose 85-90 percent of your kidney function and have a GFR of <15.

Dialysis removes waste, salt and extra water to prevent them from building up in your body. It also keeps a safe level of potassium, sodium and bicarbonate in your blood. And dialysis controls your blood pressure.

This is a decision you will discuss with your doctors.

Types of Dialysis

There are two types of dialysis. These include hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Helping our patients choose the type of dialysis that is best for them is an important responsibility of our practice. Patients approaching End Stage Renal Disease receive ongoing education regarding their options. The main discussions occur with their kidney doctor. However supplemental classes are offered both at the office and at local dialysis facilities. More information on which choice is right for you can be found on the Patient Resources links.


Many patients with End Stage Renal Disease require hemodialysis to take over for the function of their failed kidneys. During hemodialysis, an artificial kidney machine performs certain kidney functions, such as waste and fluid removal. Blood is pumped into the dialyzer through a dialysis access. Dialysis access types include a fistula (the preferred access when possible), graft, and catheter. The hemodialysis treatments last approximately four hours and are often performed three times each week. For more information on hemodialysis access and dialysis information, please refer to the DaVita, Fresenius, and National Kidney Foundation website via the following links:

DaVita- https://www.davita.com/
Fresenius- https://www.freseniuskidneycare.com/
National Kidney Foundation- (NKF)- https://www.kidney.org/

For information and assistance in choosing a local dialysis unit, including setting up a tour, please contact the social worker at the following locations:

Davita Pennsauken Dialysis Center- 856-486-1145
DaVita Lourdes Camden Dialysis- 856-541-0647
DaVita Marlton At Home- 856-797-7044
DaVita Brooklawn Dialysis- 856-456-1230
DaVita Lourdes Mt. Laurel Dialysis- 856-222-4195
DaVita Lourdes Innova Dialysis- 856-222-0386
DaVita Renal Center of Sewell- 856-464-1172
Kennedy Dialysis Center, Voorhees- 856-566-5484
Kennedy Dialysis Center, Washington Township- 856-218-4990
Fresenius Kidney Care Marlton- 856-988-1060
Fresenius Liberty Dialysis Berlin- 856-809-0036
Fresenius Liberty Dialysis Hammonton- 609-561-0044
Fresenius Kidney Care Winslow Township- 856-728-2811
Fresenius Kidney Care, Silver Dialysis, Cherry Hill- 856-216-8463
Fresenius Liberty Dialysis Runnemede- 856-312-0101

Peritoneal Dialysis

In peritoneal dialysis the stomach lining, or peritoneum, is used. A tube called a peritoneal dialysis catheter is surgically inserted into the abdomen. Once healed, the peritoneum is filled with fluid called dialysate. Dialysis can then be performed either during the day with manual exchanges, or in the evening while you sleep using a machine called a cycler. The main advantage of peritoneal dialysis is that is allows the patient to perform therapy at home, instead of traveling to a hemodialysis unit several times a week. For certain patients, doing home dialysis can be the best option to maintain a flexible and independent lifestyle.