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Peritoneal Dialysis

Peritoneal dialysis is a method of clearing waste and extra fluids from the blood when your kidneys no longer can. Instead of filtering the blood with a device outside the body, as in hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis filters waste through the lining of your abdomen. You can perform peritoneal dialysis at home on your own schedule.

Peritoneal dialysis is a treatment for kidney failure (end-stage renal disease), a condition in which kidney function drops to 10-15 percent of the normal level.

For peritoneal dialysis, the experts at Indiana University Health place a catheter (plastic tube) in your abdomen via a minor surgical procedure. A cleansing solution (dialysate) flows into your body through the catheter. Dextrose (sugar) in the dialysis fluid draws waste and fluids through the peritoneum (abdominal lining) and into the abdomen. When you drain the fluid out through the catheter, the waste goes with it.

You generally must perform several sessions—called exchanges—of peritoneal dialysis each day. Your schedule will vary based on your medical needs, the type of peritoneal dialysis that you choose and your preferences. This treatment requires training so that you can administer it yourself at home. It is important not to skip peritoneal dialysis exchanges.

Peritoneal dialysis is a kidney-replacement therapy that allows you independence as you manage your condition. At Indiana University Health, our experts design a peritoneal dialysis plan that meets your healthcare needs and fits with your lifestyle and preferences. Our goal is for you to lead a productive and fulfilling life.

We ensure that independent does not mean alone. We teach you to care for yourself at home, and we are available 24 hours a day in case you need help or advice. We check your kidney function regularly to make sure that peritoneal dialysis is working for you. The key to success with peritoneal dialysis is to follow your physician’s instructions carefully, taking care not to miss any exchanges.

How We Can Help

How We Can Help

Peritoneal Dialysis Treatment Information

We work with you to choose a peritoneal dialysis type and schedule to meet your needs and provide a high quality of life. Options include:


Peritoneal Dialysis Locations & Physicians

Use the search options below to find treatments available in your area. 

Find a Specialist

Enter a Zip Code to find a specialist at IU Health.


Peritoneal Dialysis Support Services

Choosing peritoneal dialysis means taking charge of your treatment. Learn more about your options at these websites: