Satellite Healthcare - Your Partner as You Begin Dialysis Treatment

There have never been so many excellent treatment options for people who need dialysis. Satellite is committed to helping patients, with the guidance of their doctors, understand their options and make decisions that best fit their medical needs and lifestyles.

As a new Satellite patient, you join our Optimal Start®, a 90-day program that gets you off to a good beginning. Optimal Start helps you understand what is happening with your body and helps you adjust to dialysis.

Below is just a brief overview of the treatment options available. When possible, we’ve provided links to credible resources for more information. Rest assured that your doctor and your Satellite treatment team will answer all your questions and help you understand all the details.

Option #1: Hemodialysis (HD): Hemodialysis removes body waste and extra fluid directly from the blood using an artificial kidney machine called a dialyzer. Blood is pumped from your body through a special needle inserted into a dialysis access, a permanent connection to the bloodstream surgically created for dialysis.

A little at a time, blood travels into the dialyzer. Once in the machine, the toxins travel across a membrane into a fluid, called dialysate. The used dialysate is removed from the dialyzer and goes down the drain. The cleansed blood is returned to your body through a second needle.

The usual treatment takes approximately 3 to 4-½ hours, three times per week, but treatment times and frequencies vary by patient.

  • Home – Many patients who have some help at home choose home hemodialysis (HHD) for greater schedule flexibility as well the comfort of being treated at home. For this treatment option, Satellite teams thoroughly train you and your helper and make sure you are entirely comfortable managing your treatment at home. The Satellite teams also provide ongoing support in a number of areas to help you feel your best. Read more >
  • In-Center – At our dialysis centers, you can received your care from dialysis specialists or you can participate in doing some of your own care. How much you do with your treatment depends on your ability and desire to learn, guided by the primary nurse and certified technicians. If you choose self-care hemodialysis, rest assured you will not be left alone or expected to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.

Within the area of Hemodialysis, there a number of options you may want to consider: such as:

  • Daily home hemodialysis - short (2-3 hour) treatments, 5-6 days a week.
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  • Nocturnal home hemodialysis - nightly 6-8 hour treatments, 3+ days a week. Read more >
  • Nocturnal in-center hemodialysis - nightly 6-8 hour treatments, 3+ days a week.
  • Traditional in-center hemodialysis- daily 2-3 ½ hour treatments, 3+ days a week.
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Option #2: Peritoneal Dialysis (PD). PD is the most widely used home dialysis treatment. Fluid is introduced into the abdomen through a permanent tube. The fluid collects toxins and excess fluid from the body and is then flushed out the tube.

  • Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD) – CAPD treatments can be done as you go about your regular daily activities. You are not restricted by the use of a machine. CAPD allows you to be independent and to perform treatments on a more flexible schedule. Read more >
  • Continuous Cyclic Peritoneal Dialysis (CCPD) – CCPD exchanges are performed with aid of a small machine called a cycler at night while you are sleeping. 3 to 5 exchanges are performed during the night, 6 to 7 nights a week, and your daytime hours are free. Read more >
  • Combined CAPD and CCPD – Some patients do best using a combination of CAPD and CCPD. This usually involves hooking up to the cycler machine at night while sleeping and doing one or more manual exchanges during the day.

Option #3: Transplantation. Transplantation is the surgical placement of a donated, healthy kidney into your body. Only one kidney is required for the procedure, as a single kidney is enough to maintain life. A successful transplant does not cure kidney failure, but frees you from regular dialysis treatments. A donor kidney can come from a family member, a non-family member, or from a recently deceased person.
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Option #4: No Treatment. Some people may choose not to start dialysis when their kidneys fail. Those people are kept comfortable until they die.

Most patients find that dialysis can greatly improve their quality of life. A dialysis patient may also choose to stop dialysis if their quality of life does not improve significantly, often because of other serious health problems.

You have the right to stop dialysis treatments. If you chose to stop dialysis, you will need to discuss your feelings with your family, doctor, and other dialysis professionals. If you do decide to stop dialysis a referral can be made to Hospice for care at home. The amount of time anyone lives after stopping dialysis varies from several days to weeks or longer, depending on how much kidney function is left.

For more information, contact