What is Hemodialysis?In very simple terms the kidneys "clean" your blood of waste products. Dialysis mimics the normal function of human kidneys. A pump (the dialysis machine) moves your blood through a filter (called a dialyzer). Blood passes on one side of the filter and a special solution (produced by the machine) passes on the other side. This solution draws excess fluids and waste out of your blood and through the filter. Your blood cells cannot pass through the filter's fine pores.
Approximately 217,000 Americans receive kidney dialysis. Since the late 1960s, this procedure has been used in place of kidneys damaged by disease, birth defects, or injury. Dialysis may be temporary (until the kidneys resume functioning), or until the patient receives a transplant, or for a lifetime if those options are not available.