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Oxford Kidney Unit

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Treatment options


  • Dialysis is a form of treatment that replicates many of the kidneys' functions.
  • Dialysis filters your blood to rid your body of harmful waste, extra salt, and water.
  • It is often used to treat advanced chronic kidney disease (kidney failure), where the kidneys have lost most or all of their ability to function.

You can find more information about the different types of dialysis on the NHS website:

Dialysis - what are the options?

Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) / Home Haemodialysis (HHD)

  • A team of nurses will train and support you to manage your own treatment in your home.
  • You will be able to continue your usual lifestyle and activities around the treatment.
  • A nurse is always available and will at times visit you in your home.
  • You will need to come to the hospital every 2-4 months to see your renal consultant.

Haemodialysis (HD)

  • You can be involved as much as you want to be in your treatment.
  • A team of nurses will support you. If you prefer they will do the treatment for you.
  • The times are fixed and usually involve coming to the hospital for 3-5 hours three times a week.
  • You will have to travel to and from the dialysis unit.
  • You will meet other people on dialysis who are in a similar position to you.


Kidney transplantation is one of the treatment options for patients with kidney failure.

  • A successful transplant can achieve near normal kidney function, which means you no longer need dialysis and may also extend the length of your life.
  • Fluid and dietary restrictions are usually reduced or removed.
  • Sexual function is more likely return to normal.
  • Some people with diabetes may be suitable for a combined kidney and pancreas transplant.

Living donor transplant

  • Generally, a close relative or someone who has a close emotional relationship with you will consider donating one of their kidneys to you.
  • The transplant can be planned and often the need for dialysis can be avoided.
  • If you know someone who might offer to donate a kidney to you please discuss it with your kidney team.
  • How to become a donor -

Transplant waiting list

  • This is a waiting list to receive a kidney from someone who has died.
  • Your blood will be tested monthly to ensure a good match.
  • It is impossible to say exactly how long you will wait.
  • On average waiting times are 2-3 years but sometimes it can be longer.