The Advantages & Disadvantages of Hemodialysis

When kidney function starts to decline, you will either need to undergo a kidney transplant, or start hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis treatments.

Pros of hemodialysis

  • When AV fistulas are used for vascular access, the risks complications of hemodialysis are reduced.
  • AV fistulas for hemodialysis can last many years, longer than transplanted kidneys, catheters for peritoneal dialysis and other forms of vascular access, with usually no need for additional surgical intervention.
  • Hemodialysis at dialysis centers is done 3 times weekly leaving most of the week dialysis free.
  • Trained staff at the centers continuously supervise and monitor patient’s health and treatments
  • Hemodialysis at treatment centers allows for social interactions with people undergoing the same process
  • Hemodialysis sessions can be used for work, reading and relaxation
  • Hemodialysis carries a relatively low risk of infection
  • Hemodialysis can also be done at home, at your own convenience. Hemodialysis done at home is generally done daily, with assistance from a partner.
  • Nocturnal hemodialysis done at home is a relatively gentle form of treatment, leaving the patient feeling stronger
  • Nocturnal hemodialysis allows for sense of normality and for regular work/school schedules

Cons of hemodialysis

  • If hemodialysis is done in a clinic you will to travel to the clinic, and spend 3-4 hours there each session.
  • Hemodialysis schedule must be stringently kept.
  • Travel is more complex, requiring advance planning and arrangements.
  • Diet and fluid restrictions must be adhered to strictly.
  • Fistula may seem ungainly and ugly to patient
  • If undergoing home hemodialysis, a partner must be home, and must be involved in the nursing.
  • If done at home space, electrical and plumbing needs must be considered
  • Possible side effects include low blood pressure, shortness of breath and nausea.


Laminate Medical’s VasQ is designed to improve maturation and patency rates of AV fistulas of hemodialysis patients. Read more>>