Treatment Options

Olympic Peninsula Kidney Center (OPKC) provides most therapies for the treatment of kidney failure on-site at our clinics. These services include in-center hemodialysis, home hemodialysis, and home peritoneal dialysis. OPKC fully supports kidney transplantation as an option by working with area transplant centers to evaluate and prepare patients who wish to pursue a kidney transplant.

OPKC in-center hemodialysis services

 are provided at all four locations (Bremerton, Port Orchard, Poulsbo, and Port Townsend). Based on your physician’s orders, you will typically be assigned a three day a week schedule (Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) with a specific start time. Most treatments last four hours, but there is also some preparation at the beginning of the treatment, as well as some post-treatment assessment actions, so you should plan to add about an hour to the prescribed treatment time to include these pre and post-treatment activities. 

OPKC strives to work with each patient to find a schedule for dialysis treatments that is most convenient, particularly for those who continue to work or go to school. If we cannot accommodate your requested schedule based on the availability of treatment appointment times, you will be placed on a waiting list for your desired appointment time. For maximum flexibility, home dialysis may be the best option.


OPKC Home dialysis services

are provided at all locations. Home services include specialized training for the patient and a home dialysis partner (selected by the patient) to learn how to perform the selected therapy – home hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis – as well as support services to assist home patients in maximizing the quality of their care at home and creating a feeling of comfort and security. Help is only a phone call away! Home dialysis patients come into the clinic at least once a month to review their medical status and address any questions or concerns. OPKC provides all necessary equipment, supplies, training and support for home dialysis patients. If for any reason you cannot dialyze at home, back-up in-center treatments are provided as needed in one of the outpatient clinics. Home dialysis can provide much more independence and flexibility than in-center hemodialysis.


Treatment Options

In conjunction with your physician and your interdisciplinary team that consists of a nurse, dietitian and social worker at OPKC, you can select the best treatment option for you.  Whatever option you choose OPKC will continually educate you and your family.

The options are
1.  Peritoneal Dialysis
2.  Home Hemo Dialysis
3.  In-Center Hemo Dialysis
4.  Kidney transplant
5.  No treatment

No single treatment is right for every person. Which one you choose will depend on your body, lifestyle, and health.  Below is a brief description of each option available. 

Peritoneal Dialysis

This is a daily treatment that removes wastes, chemicals and extra fluid from your body.  It involves the use of your natural lining in your abdomen to filter your blood. Your peritoneal cavity is filled with fluid and then drained and refilled at different times during the day or continually at night while you sleep.


  • You are more in control over your schedule
  • You can do your treatments in your own home
  • No needles required
  • Fewer diet and fluid restrictions


  • Practicing more stringent infection control in your home is required to avoid infection.
  • You must perform daily
  • You must eat more protein and if diabetic you need to monitor your sugar levels more carefully
  • Need to have storage for all your supplies
  • Must order supplies regularly to maintain adequate inventory
  • Requires treatment documentation

Home Hemo Dialysis

This requires the use of a portable dialysis machine set up in your home. OPKC requires a trained caregiver to be present during your dialysis to ensure your safety. You insert the needles into your arm, perform the dialysis and remove the needles all in the comfort of your own home. You have the option to dialyze for longer periods of time utilizing this treatment which is easier on your body.


  • You will have the same caregiver helping you with your treatment
  •  There are no visitor restrictions
  • You make your own treatment schedule


  • It requires a big commitment from a caregiver who needs to be trained and present at all of your treatments for your safety
  • You don’t have the same opportunity to socialize with other patients that go through the same issues that you face
  • You need to have room to store all of your supplies
  • Must order supplies regularly to maintain adequate inventory
  • Requires treatment documentation
  • OPKC does not supply caregiver


In-Center Hemodialysis

This is done at an outpatient setting, normally 3 times per week a few hours per treatment, depending on your prescription.


  • You have trained staff available during your entire treatment
  • Someone else is continually monitoring you throughout your treatment, so you can watch TV, or even sleep
  • Usually, only three treatments per week, leaving the other four days free for any activities you may have planned
  • Ability to socialize with other patients


  • More fluid and diet restrictions
  • Must follow the assigned treatment schedule
  • You must leave the comfort of your home and travel to an outpatient dialysis center
  • Transportation arrangements are required

Kidney transplant

This is an alternative to dialysis therapies but please keep in mind that it is simply another form of treatment.  The transplant has risks inherent with any form of treatment. It is a process that requires patience on your part as it may take a long time to find a good match for your body.  A kidney can be transplanted either from a cadaver or from a living donor. After your doctor determines that you are a good candidate you will be referred to a transplant center and they will conduct numerous tests to ensure that you are able to undergo major surgery.  


  • Typically you will have more energy than if you were on dialysis
  • Freedom from dialysis treatments
  • Fewer fluid and diet restrictions


  • Long waitlists and entails major surgery
  • Risk of your body rejecting the newly transplanted organ
  • You have to take daily medications to avoid rejection that is very costly 

No treatment must be discussed as an option

For many people, dialysis and transplantation extend their lives and the quality of it.  On the other hand, there are people that have many serious health problems in addition to kidney failure and dialysis may seem like an extra burden that only prolongs their suffering.  We mention this option not to encourage it but help you make an informed decision.

Educating yourself and your loved ones about Chronic Kidney Disease and  Renal Disease is the key to maintaining control over your life. OPKC encourages you to be an active participant in the decisions you make.  Please speak with your care team if you have any questions.