Reduction in dialysis frequency

Patient: My diabetic father is 81 . He has been on kidney dialysis for approx 3 months 3x per week. They have now cut him down to 2x per week. His leg has swelled up ;and has quite a bit of sores on his body. Would there be a reason why they would cut him down to 2x per week.

Doctor: The effect of dialysis is to eliminate toxins from the body that are normally removed by the kidney (renal replacement t herapy). If your father’s deterioration in kidney function was acute (for example as a result of reversible cause such as infection), then the dialysis may be a temporary option until the kidney function returns towards normal. Therefore as the kidney function improves, dialysis is required less often. If the deterioration in kidney function was due to a chronic insult, (e.g. diabetes), then dialysis will be required on a lifelong basis. There are many reasons why dialysis could be reduced from trice to twice a week, which may include; increased duration but decreased frequency, cost-effectiveness, patient convenience or staff convenience. I would advise discussing this with your father’s nephrologist, to determine the cause for the reduction in his case.