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Dialysis/Transplant Comparison Chart

Treatment Pros Cons
Home Dialysis – Peritoneal (CAPD)

Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal
Dialysis (4-5 times/day)

(CCPD) Continuous Cycling Peritoneal Dialysis

(6-8 hrs every nite)

  • Needs no machine for CAPD
  • Fewer diet and fluid restrictions
  • Portable for ease of travel
  • Needle-free treatments
  • Dialyze while you sleep
  • Fewer peaks and valleys
  • Doctor visits and labs performed once a month at a clinic
  • Increased risk of peritonitis (abdominal infection)
  • Requires space for supplies
  • Potential weight gain
  • Cycling machine needed for CCPD
  • Plastic tube from abdomen may be hindrance
Home Dialysis – Hemodialysis

Short daily (2-3 hours, 6 days/wk)

Traditional (3-4 hrs, 3 times/wk)

Nocturnal (6-8 hrs 3+ days/wk)

  • Flexible treatment time
  • Doctor visits and labs only once a month
  • Nocturnal allows dialysis while you sleep
  • Dialysis in the comfort of your own home
  • A machine is required
  • Requires modifications to home electrical and plumbing
  • Care partner required for needle insertion
  • Must order and have room for supplies
  • May have problems with fistula, AV graft not working
In Center Hemodialysis

Standard (days, 3-5 hrs, 3 times/wk)

Nocturnal (nights, 8 hrs, 3 times/wk)

  • Dialysis centers are found all over the country
  • Skilled health care providers with you at all times
  • Don’t have to put in own needle
  • Get to know other dialysis patients
  • Immediate access to emergency care if needed
  • Do not need to store supplies in your home
  • Frequent access to your health care team
  • Nocturnal dialysis allows more time for activities
  • Fistula or AV graft surgically inserted
  • Must travel to a center
  • Disrupts work schedule due to fixed schedule
  • Less privacy (Sleep with other patients for nocturnal)
  • More ups and downs in how you feel
  • Must maintain a strict diet and fluid restriction
  • Must follow centers rules regarding food, visitors, cell phones etc.
Compatible Living Related Donor
Kidney Transplan
  • May be able to be transplanted prior to start of dialysis
  • Shorter wait time for transplant
  • Better genetic match lessens risk of rejection
  • Transplant takes place at a convenient time for both donor and recipient
  • Kidney usually functions immediately
  • Improved health with more active lifestyle
  • Psychological stress of having a family member involved
  • Time involved for evaluation and testing process
  • May be responsible for travel expenses, wages lost
Compatible Deceased Donor
Kidney Transplant
  • No longer need dialysis
  • Improved health with more active lifestyle
  • Wait time for kidney may be years
  • Kidney may not function immediately
  • Rejection rate higher
  • May be responsible for travel expenses, wages lost
Compatible Living Paired Donation
Kidney Transplant
  • You receive a compatible kidney from a living donor other than a family member
  • Kidney usually functions immediately
  • May find a younger donor or a perfect 6-antigen match
  • Multiple recipients can benefit with NEAD (Never Ending Altruistic Donation) paired transplant
  • Shortens time on dialysis
  • More recipients transplanted, less on waiting list
  • Improved health with more active lifestyle
  • Your family can donate, but not directly for you
  • Will need to wait on dialysis while finding a match
  • Not all transplant centers can handle multiple simultaneous transplants
  • Complicated process
Incompatible Blood or Tissue Type Kidney Transplant
  • Positive cross matched patients are now able to receive a transplant
  • Improved health with more active lifestyle
  • Shortens time on dialysis
  • Not all transplant centers will accept highly sensitized patients
  • More procedures (plasmapheresis, immune globulin therapy) are needed

Download (PDF) a printable version of this Kidney Dialysis vs. Kidney Transplant Chart

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