Kidney disease can get worse over time, and may lead to kidney failure. Kidney failure means advanced kidney damage with less than 15% normal function. Most people with kidney failure have symptoms from the build up of waste products and extra water in their body. End-stage renal disease (ESRD) is kidney failure treated by dialysis or kidney transplant.
If the kidneys fail, treatment options such as dialysis or a kidney transplant can help people live longer and healthier lives. If your kidney disease is progressing, talk with your health care provider about choosing a treatment that is right for you. Learn about what you can do to prepare for kidney failure and treatment.
The two main treatment options for kidney failure are dialysis or a kidney transplant. Since the kidneys no longer work well enough to maintain health, the goal is to find a treatment that can replace kidney function. Dialysis and kidney transplants are treatments not cures for kidney failure.
- Dialysis; Dialysis is a process that filters wastes and water from your blood. There are two types of dialysis.
- Kidney Transplant; A kidney transplant means having another person's healthy kidney surgically placed in your body.
- Choosing not to treat with dialysis or transplant; Some people choose not to treat kidney failure with dialysis or a transplant. If this path is chosen, care is still provided by the health care team. Care may include taking medicines to treat symptoms and protect remaining kidney function for as long as possible, as well as advice on diet and lifestyle choices.
Resources are available that may help you pay for your kidney failure treatment.
Page last updated: October 2, 2013