It is important for you to consider all aspects of both dialysis modalities, Hemodialysis and Peritoneal Dialysis before deciding on which one to adopt. The decision is never straightforward. Discuss with your family and definitely, your nephrologist before deciding on one or the other. Here, we consider different aspects which might be important to you and how each modality affects each aspect:
Diet and fluid restrictions:
With Peritoneal Dialysis, there are generally fewer diet and fluid restrictions as compared to hemodialysis.
It is generally easier to travel with PD since you can carry your supplies with you. With hemodialysis, travel is possible but you can travel for short periods and come back in time for your next session or you can travel to a place where there is a hospital or center that offers dialysis.
PD is considered to be less risky as a process because there is no blood going out of your system as in hemodialysis. Also, PD offers continuous dialysis whereas hemodialysis is intermittent. If you have some residual renal function (if you still pass some urine), Peritoneal Dialysis is more effective as a form of dialysis and also at preserving this renal function. However, if you have no residual renal function (if you pass little or no urine), hemodialysis is more effective.
PD is generally as expensive or cheaper than hemodialysis.
In PD, you will need to have a catheter (tube) inside your stomach the outer part of which will be outside your body. The tube is usually wrapped in a small pouch that is fastened around your stomach. With hemodialysis, you will need to get a fistula which may look like a swelling on your arm or wherever the fistula is made. In case of a jugular catheter you will have a couple of small tubes usually near your neck.
The chances of catching infections is higher on PD than on hemodialysis. If proper washing techniques and sterile procedures are not followed, it is possible that you may catch bacterial infections which may lead to having to remove the PD catheter. In hemodialysis, it is possible that you may catch viral infections if the proper washing procedures are not followed especially during reprocessing of the dialyser and bloodlines.