What are my treatment options?

Your doctor will talk to you about the amount of kidney function you have each time you come to the clinic. When you have about 20% of kidney function left, your doctor and nurse will start to talk about which treatment is right for you. Your treatment options are:

  • dialysis an artificial process by which the toxic waste products of food and excess water are removed from your body
  • kidney transplanta kidney removed from one person (the donor) and given to another person (the recipient)
  • conservative management choosing not to have dialysis or a kidney transplant and managing the symptoms of kidney failure with the support from the healthcare team

You are likely to have more than one treatment in your lifetime.

How can I choose what treatment is right for me?

One of the most difficult period for a renal patient is that time just before they have to begin a treatment. Whether it is the discussion with a friend or relative about kidney donation, deciding between peritoneal or haemodialysis, or choosing to follow a conservative management path, the process can be daunting. The first thing to understand is that there is help and support out there and you should take advantage of it..

Your primary support will come from your renal team at St George's. Your consultant and nurses are all experienced in the choices you have to make and can talk you through the pros and cons.

However there are a number of other sources of information and these include:

  • The NHS has also created a further  led by some of the team at St George's. Others can be found on the decision support tools page.
  • You should be invited to a series of meetings, presentations and seminars as part of the Advanced Kidney Care Clinic if your kidney failure was gradual. Do take advantage of these.
  • There are also other patients on the KPA who have been through what you are experiencing. Just ask a doctor, nurse or member of the KPA committee for a recommendation on who can share their experiences.