Disadvantages of Peritoneal Dialysis ( PD )
As the equipment that is used for peritoneal dialysis is portable, you have more freedom to travel compared with haemodialysis patients.
CAPD equipment is roughly the size of a hat stand on wheels. The equipment used for APD is the size and weight of a small suitcase.
Another advantage of peritoneal dialysis is that there are fewer restrictions on diet and fluid intake compared with haemodialys where there are strict limits on the amount of fluids that you can drink.
One of the main disadvantages of peritoneal dialysis is that you need to perform it every day, whereas haemodialysis is usually only performed three days a week.
Another major disadvantage of peritoneal dialysis is that your risk of developing peritonitis (infection of the peritoneum) is increased.
Possible Problems & Disadvantages of Peritoneal Dialysis
Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is not always trouble-free. Patients may experience both psychological and physical problems, discussed below.
Some kidney patients get tired of the responsibility of doing their peritoneal dialysis every day. If this is a problem, talk to your peritoneal dialysis nurse who may be able to help you incorporate more flexibility into your routine.
Some peritoneal dialysis patients find it difficult to accept a permanent PD catheter. They worry that the catheter may affect their sexual activity and their relationship with their partner.
Fluid overload occurs when there is too much fluid in the body. It is characterized by a sudden increase in body weight, swollen ankles, and/or shortness of breath. Generally dialysis patients need to restrict their fluid intake to prevent fluid overload. Peritoneal dialysis patients, however, have more flexible fluid allowances than hemodialysis patients.
Dehydration occurs when there is too little fluid in the body. It can be caused by excess fluid loss due to diarrhea or sweating. It is characterized by dizziness, feeling sick, or a sudden decrease in weight. Dehydration is far less common than fluid overload in dialysis patients.
Some PD patients find that having the dialysis fluid in their abdomen is uncomfortable. They feel full or bloated. Others suffer from backache or experience shoulder pain, especially when draining in or out. Very rarely, some patients experience discomfort when fresh fluid is drained in.
Peritonitis causes symptoms that include:
chills (episodes of shivering and cold)
Repeated episodes of peritonitis can damage the peritoneum and surgery may be required to repair it.
Another drawback of peritoneal dialysis is that the dialysis fluid used can cause a reduction in protein levels, which can lead to a lack of energy and in some cases malnutrition.
Weight gain is another possible side effect of peritoneal dialysis that affects some people.