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Treatment Options

For most people with mild CKD (stages 1-3) treatment will consist of adopting a healthy lifestyle and taking some medications to control their blood pressure and prevent their kidneys from getting worse.

If your CKD progresses to stage 4-5 you will need to start thinking about the treatment options available for kidney failure.

Read our guide to living with early stage chronic kidney disease (PDF 4Mb)

Choosing the treatment option that's right for you

Hospital haemodialysis


Patient having hospital haemodialysis 

Hospital haemodialysis usually takes between 4 to 5 hours.

Some kidney patients prefer to have haemodialysis in their hospital kidney unit, with full support from the staff. Most hospitals also offer dialysis at satellite centres. These are smaller, local kidney units managed by experienced nurses.

How will my dialysis treatment be arranged?
Dialysis at these centres is usually by appointment with several time slots throughout the day; some centres may offer evening appointments. The staff will try to give you an appointment time that meets your needs.  However, this may not always be possible, as some times are more popular than others.  If you would like to request a specific time, you will added to a waiting list for that time and / or day.

When you arrive at the dialysis unit you might need to wait up to half an hour while the machine is prepared for you. Most patients need to dialyse for between four and five hours on alternate days; this will be prescribed by your doctor. It will take a nurse about 30 minutes to connect you to the dialysis machine and the same time to disconnect you afterwards. You also need to think about the time it will take you to travel between the centre and your home.

Why it might be right for you

  • It might make you feel happier and more comfortable if you have help and support from healthcare staff and other patients.
  • You will not need space at home to store equipment.

Why it might not be right for you

  • If you work or are studying you might find it difficult to fit this in with dialysis, although some centres can arrange for you to have dialysis in the evenings.
  • You will need to travel to a dialysis centre three times a week for your treatment.

How will I get to the dialysis unit?
Patients are encouraged to walk, use public transport or drive to the dialysis centre if parking is available. Your hospital may be able to provide transport to your unit if you meet the medical criteria. You will need to be assessed.

In the UK, if you are on a low income you may be able to claim back the cost of travel. You must keep the receipts. Ask your healthcare team for more information on travel issues.