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Peritoneal dialysis

Peritoneal dialysis is a form of dialysis that uses the abdominal cavity as an artificial kidney. A soft plastic tube is surgically placed in the abdominal cavity. After the site heals, the catheter is used to run fluid (dialysate) into the abdominal cavity, where it draws out toxins and extra fluid. When the dialysate is drained from the abdomen, it carries the waste products with it.

Peritoneal dialysis can be performed during the day, changing a bag of dialysate every four to six hours, or at night with an automatic cycler. In both cases, the patient performs the dialysis at home. Patients with active lifestyles tend to prefer peritoneal dialysis since it helps to maintain independence.

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