Dialysis will require some adjustments to everyday life. Some of these changes (for example, changes in diet) may happen with either type of dialysis and are described in the Life on Dialysis section. Others are different, depending on the type of dialysis.

Daily Life on In-center Hemodialysis (HD)

Getting to the dialysis center

If you choose in-center HD, you will need reliable transportation to the dialysis center. Some people can drive themselves or take public transportation. Others will need someone to drive them. In some cases, transportation may be arranged for you.

Health Tip   Health Tip
  • If you choose in-center HD, and transportation is difficult for you, your social worker will help you manage your transportation options.

Travel out of town

Travel for people on in-center HD is possible, with some advanced planning to schedule dialysis at a center near your destination. It's not always easy for another dialysis center to fit a transient patient in their schedule, and they will need all of your clinical information. Make sure to plan with plenty of time in advance. Your health care team can help you to plan and arrange treatments.

Daily Life on Peritoneal Dialysis (PD)

Home environment

To perform PD, it is very important to have a clean home. Having a clean home helps to prevent infections.

Health Tip   Health Tip
  • If you have a pet, it's important that he/she is out of the room while you are connecting and disconnecting your PD catheter. This will reduce your chance of getting an infection.

People on PD will need space at home to store PD supplies. PD supplies are delivered in boxes that are similar to the weight and size of boxes that contain printer paper. These can be heavy and take up space.

PD Supplies

Travel out of town

PD can be done at any travel destination if you have a clean environment (for example, a hotel room) and the appropriate supplies. People on PD should talk first to their health care team and let them know that they are traveling. Your health care team can help determine how many supplies you will need and organize shipment to your travel destination.

Here is a comparison of in-center HD and PD:


In-center Hemodialysis (HD)

Peritoneal Dialysis (PD)

How does it change everyday life?

  • Transportation to the center
  • Travel out of town
  • Clean environment
  • Space for supplies
  • Travel out of town

Research described on this web site was partially funded through a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Award (1109). The statements and views presented here are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), its Board of Governors or Methodology Committee.