Home Dialysis

Dialysis treatments offer a lifeline to people whose kidneys can no longer filter their blood. But traditional, in-center dialysis often means treatments that last for hours. And you may need to schedule dialysis at times that are not convenient for you.

At Allegheny Health Network (AHN), many patients have the option of getting dialysis at home. With home dialysis, you give yourself treatments at times that are best for you. And we give you the support you need to feel confident while receiving dialysis at home.

What is dialysis?

Dialysis takes over the work of your kidneys when they are no longer able to filter your blood.

During treatment:

  1. Blood flows from your body into a dialysis machine through a tube.
  2. The dialysis machine removes waste and toxins from your blood.
  3. A different tube returns filtered blood to your body.

If you receive treatment in a dialysis center: A nurse connects you to the dialysis machine and takes care of the necessary supplies. In-center treatment typically lasts four hours, and you go three times per week.

If you receive dialysis at home: You connect yourself to the dialysis machine and manage the supplies. You may need a loved one to help you. Treatments may be shorter or longer than in-center dialysis. But you have the flexibility to receive them when the time is right for you. Many people are able to get back to their daily lives, including working, traveling, and going to school.

Home dialysis at AHN: Why choose us?

Kidney physicians (nephrologists) at AHN help more people receive dialysis at home. Our patients consistently have good experiences with home dialysis due to our personalized approach. We also take time to explain how it works so you can decide whether this treatment is right for you.

Highlights of our program include:

  • Highly skilled physicians: You receive care from nephrologists who completed additional training after medical school (fellowships) in kidney disease. They follow all the latest care practices in preparing patients to do dialysis at home. They let you know what to do so you can get the most out of each dialysis session.
  • Safety: Studies show the risk of complications, such as infections, is nearly the same for home dialysis as it is for in-center dialysis. And if you have any questions during treatment, home dialysis specialists are available by phone.
  • Coordinated care: You continue receiving kidney disease care from nephrologists who already know you and your unique circumstances. They monitor your progress through monthly follow-up appointments. These appointments allow them to adjust your treatment plan, if necessary, so you stay as healthy as possible.

Is home dialysis right for me?

We can help you decide if home dialysis is right for you. We also offer classes to teach you everything you need to know about home dialysis.

You may wish to receive home dialysis if you:

  • Are willing to complete home dialysis training
  • Have a loved one who is willing to help you, if needed
  • Have a clean treatment area at home with a bed or comfortable chair, good lighting, and a water source

Your home dialysis options

When you choose to do dialysis at home, you have many options. Our physicians explain the benefits of each one so you can select the best option for you.

Home dialysis options include:

  • Hemodialysis: Your blood circulates through a machine. The machine filters out waste and extra water before returning it to your body. You receive home dialysis four times per day. Sessions may occur at night.
  • Peritoneal dialysis: You receive special fluid through a tube we surgically implant into the lining of your abdomen (peritoneum). The fluid filters your blood and leaves your body through the tube. You receive peritoneal dialysis daily.

Contact us

Call (412) 359-3319 (option 2) or request an appointment or to learn more about AHN nephrology services.