Hemodialysis is a form of dialysis where dialysis is performed intermittently. The blood in the body is continuously removed during the hemodialysis process and passed through an artificial kidney which cleans it. The treatment is an intermittent treatment and is performed ranging from three hours thrice weekly to eight or nine hours six to seven times a week.
In hemodialysis, a machine removes blood from the body and filters it through a man-made membrane called a dialyzer, or artificial kidney, to clean out toxins that your kidneys can no longer remove. The filtered blood is then returned to the body. Only a small amount of blood (less than two cups) is outside of the body at any time. To perform hemodialysis there needs to be an access point created to get the blood from the body to the dialyzer and back to the body. Typically, an arteriovenous (AV) fistula or an AV graft will be surgically created, usually in your non-dominant forearm, to act as the access point for dialysis. Your doctor will determine the right type of access for you.
Temporary accesses such as shunts or jugular catheters are used when dialysis needs to be started immediately or is needed for short periods of time