When your kidneys fail, you need treatment to replace the work of healthy kidneys to survive.

Developing kidney failure means that you have some decisions to make about your treatment. If you choose to receive treatment, your choices are hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, and kidney transplantation. Each of them has advantages and disadvantages. You may also choose to forgo treatment. By learning about your choices, you can work with your doctor to decide what's best for you. No matter which treatment you choose, you'll need to make some changes in your life, including how you eat and plan your activities. But with the help of your health care team, family, and friends, you can lead a full, active life.

What are your treatment options?


Deciding which type of treatment is best for you isn't easy. Your decision depends on your medical condition, lifestyle, and personal likes and dislikes. Discuss the pros and cons of each treatment with your health care team and family. You can switch between treatment methods during the course of your therapy. If you start one form of treatment and decide you'd like to try another, talk to your doctor. The key is to learn as much as you can about your choices first. With that knowledge, you and your doctor will choose the treatment that suits you best.

Financing Transplantation: What Every
Patient Needs To Know

2nd edition, 1996
United Network for Organ Sharing
1100 Boulders Parkway
Suite 500
P.O. Box 13770
Richmond, VA 23225-8770
Phone: 1-888-894-6361 to order single copies
(804) 330-8541 to order bulk copies

National Kidney Foundation (NKF) Patient Education Brochures
Family Focus Newsletter
(includes materials based on NKF's Dialysis Outcomes Quality Initiative)
National Kidney Foundation, Inc.
30 East 33rd Street
New York, NY 10016
Phone: 1-800-622-9010 or (212) 889-2210

The individuals listed here facilitated field testing for this publication. NIDDK thanks them for their contribution:

Kim Bayer, M.A., R.D., L.D.
BMA Dialysis
Bethesda, MD

Cora Benedicto, R.N.
Clinic Director
Gambro Health Care
N Street Clinic
Washington, DC



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