U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Kidney Failure: Choosing a Treatment That's Right for You - Chart

Hemodialysis Peritoneal Dialysis Transplantation
Dialysis Center
Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis
Continuous Cyclerassisted Peritoneal Dialysis
Deceased Donor
Living Donor
Vascular access placement
Catheter placement
Medical testing at transplant clinic
Three treatments a week for 3 to 5 hours or more
Flexible schedule; three or more treatments a week at the times you choose
Four to six exchanges a day, every day
Three to five exchanges a night, every night, with an additional exchange first thing in the morning
You may be on a waiting list for several years.
If a friend or family member is donating, you can schedule the operation when you’re both ready.
Dialysis center
Any clean, well-lit place that allows for solution exchanges
Hospital for surgery
Equipment and Supplies in the Home
No equipment or supplies in the home
Hemodialysis machine connected to plumbing or bags of dialysis solution, dialyzer, tubing
Bags of dialysis solution, tubing
Cycler, bags of dialysis solution, tubing, drain bag
No equipment or supplies needed
Training Required
Little training is required.
You and your partner must attend several training sessions.
Several training sessions are required.

You’ll need to learn about your medicines and when to take them.
You’ll need to learn about your medicines and when to take them.
You’ll need to learn about your medicines and when to take them.
Must limit liquids, sodium, potassium, and phosphorus
Must limit sodium, phosphorus, and calories
Fewer dietary restrictions
Level of Freedom
You have little freedom on treatment days.
You have more freedom to set your own schedule, though you still can’t move during treatment.
During dwell times, you can move around and perform daily tasks, such as working and driving; limited freedom during exchanges.
You connect yourself to a machine each night.
Transplantation offers the greatest amount of freedom.
Amount of Work
Dialysis center staff perform most tasks.
You and your partner clean and set up the machine and monitor your vital signs.
You perform the exchanges on your own.
You set up your cycler every night.
You take immunosuppressants every day for as long as the transplanted kidney functions.

This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings through its clearinghouses and education programs to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.

This information is not copyrighted. The NIDDK encourages people to share this content freely.

September 2015