Frequently Asked Questions

I have been diagnosed with CKD, what is CKD?

CKD or Chronic Kidney Disease is the loss of kidney function.  There are five stages of CKD, with stage five being the most serious.

My Doctor keeps talking about ESRD, what does that mean?

ESRD or End Stage Renal Disease is the fifth stage of Chronic Kidney Disease.  This usually means your kidneys have stopped functioning or have reached a point where they are not cleansing your blood sufficiently to maintain your health.  People classified in the fourth or fifth stage of ESRD are generally placed on dialysis.

What caused my kidneys to fail?

This is a question only your physician can answer for you, however, some common causes are diabetes, high blood pressure, polycystic kidney disease or acute renal injury.

Some people in kidney failure get better, will I?

That depends on a number of factors.  Your physician is the best person to answer this question.

Will my life change now that I am on dialysis?

Yes, but you control the degree of change.  Educating yourself about treatment options and diet are the best tools you have.  Your treatment team at OPKC is an excellent resource for you and your family.

What if I do not want dialysis?

As the patient, you always have the choice of what treatment to accept.  No treatment is always an option that is available to you. The OPKC treatment team will work with your physician and family if you choose no treatment.

I've heard dialysis is expensive?

Dialysis does cost a lot of money but there are private insurances, Medicare and Medicaid that cover a portion if not all of your dialysis treatments.  Your OPKC interdisciplinary team will work with you to find the best insurance option for you.

About OPKC

Treatment Philosophy

Our team is committed to serving end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients in the community by the provision of high-quality patient care, readily available and specific to their needs. This can be achieved with the following objectives:

  • To provide quality nephrology and dialysis care to ESRD patients in the OPKC service area.
  • To educate ESRD patients and their families regarding ESRD and related issues in order to engage the patient and their families in care planning and health maintenance.
  • To educate OPKC staff regarding ESRD and nephrology patient care in order to promote staff satisfaction, professional development, and optimal patient care services.
  • To function as a liaison between the physician, Center personnel, patients, their families, and community services.
  • To acknowledge the expertise of the nephrology nurse, emphasize these qualities and provide maximum utilization.