FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: What health and quality-of-life benefits can I expect to see with home dialysis?
A: Both types of home dialysis allow schedule flexibility, and offer the freedom of not being tied down to a dialysis center three days a week.
This is especially important for those who work or maintain an active lifestyle. Patients also enjoy the comfort of dialyzing in their own home,
and the empowerment of maintaining control over their lives. In addition, since both peritoneal dialysis and daily home hemodialysis treatments
are performed more frequently than in-center hemodialysis, there are fewer fluid and dietary restrictions. Patients who choose home dialysis
generally report more energy, better sleep, improved appetite, less fatigue and overall improved quality of life compared to those undergoing
in-center dialysis. Blood pressure control improves, and the need for medications is reduced.
More frequent dialysis also leads to fewer hospitalizations, and the treatments are gentler and less stressful on the body than
conventional in-center dialysis.
Q: Am I the right patient for home dialysis treatments?
A: If you enjoy your independence and would like to improve your quality of life while undergoing dialysis,
you may be a candidate for home dialysis. Most dialysis patients qualify for home dialysis. Your doctor can
help you decide which treatment modality is the best one for your lifestyle and well-being.
Q: What kind of training is needed for home dialysis?
A: All training sessions are hands-on, one-on-one lessons taught by the Home Dialysis Nurse.
In general, peritoneal dialysis requires about 1-2 weeks of training, while home hemodialysis requires approximately 3-4 weeks.
Q: What if a problem arises while I am dialyzing at home?
A: The Home Dialysis Physician and Nurse are both available 24-hours a day to discuss any issues that may arise,
and instruct you on how to handle any difficulty. In addition, NxStage offers a 24/7 hotline for problems related to the NxStage dialysis machine.
Q: Do I need a partner when I am dialyzing at home?
A: Peritoneal dialysis does not require a partner. Home hemodialysis requires a partner who will be in the home throughout each treatment in case of complications.
Q: Will home dialysis be covered by my insurance?
A: Most insurance companies completely cover all the home dialysis costs.
Q: Will I be responsible for any additional expenses?
A: The only expenses you may be responsible for are items not directly related to your treatment, such as a bathroom scale and a blood pressure monitor.
Q: If I choose home hemodialysis, which type of dialysis access can I use?
A: Ideally, we recommend that all home hemodialysis patients have an AV fistula placed.
If that is not possible, an AV graft or a dialysis catheter can be used at home as well.
Q: I like my current nephrologist Ė will he continue to follow me?
A: Of course. You will be seen monthly by the home dialysis team at the Lower Manhattan Dialysis Center,
and you can see your own nephrologist at the same time or make an appointment to see him in his office.
Either way, the home dialysis staff will be communicating closely with him, to ensure continuity in your medical care.
Q: What if I donít have a nephrologist currently?
A: If you do not currently have a nephrologist, the medical director of home dialysis can become your primary nephrologist, if you wish.
Q: Will I need plumbing or electrical changes to my home in order to perform home hemodialysis?
A: No electrical work is needed as long as you have a grounded electrical outlet.
For plumbing, a simple water supply adapter is provided which you can hook up yourself (or with the help of a plumber).
The adapter easily attaches under a faucet or to your washing machine water connection.
Q: What if I donít live or work near the dialysis center?
A: Home dialysis is ideal for those who live far from the dialysis center.
After the training period, you will only need to appear at the dialysis center once a month for routine follow-up
(Of course, you can come in more frequently if you arenít feeling well or if you need medical evaluation).
Therefore, people who live up to 90 minutes outside Manhattan are eligible for home dialysis through our program.