Dialysis is the process of filtering and removing waste and excess fluid from the body, typically necessary when the kidneys are not able to adequately filter the blood on their own. Dialysis allows patients with kidney failure to live productive lives. The two main types are hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. With hemodialysis, the blood flows out of the body into a machine that filters out the waste products and returns the cleansed blood back into the body. With peritoneal dialysis, the cleansing occurs inside the body. Dialysis fluid is injected into the peritoneal (abdominal) cavity, and waste is filtered through the peritoneum, the thin membrane that surrounds the abdominal organs. Each type of dialysis has its own advantages and disadvantages. Patients typically may choose the type that best suits their lifestyle and needs.

UAB Nephrology is a recognized leader in kidney transplantation, as our nationally ranked kidney disease program is consistently listed among the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report. UAB’s Division of Nephrology was designated a George M. O’Brien Kidney Research Center by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), making us one of just eight such federally funded centers in the country dedicated to the study of acute kidney injury and kidney failure. UAB’s strong research programs put us at the forefront in the development of new methods to treat, prevent and cure diabetes and its complications, and our participation in clinical trials increases the chances of providing our patients with cutting-edge therapies not yet available at other medical centers.

The UAB Hepato/Renal Fibrocystic Diseases Core Center, sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, calls UAB home. The North American Autosomal Recessive Polycycstic Kidney Disease Clinical Database, a compilation of case histories from across the continent, is also housed at UAB and serves as an important resource for genetic research related to kidney disease. 

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