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Improving the understanding, detection, and management of kidney disease.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can kidney disease get better?

Kidney disease usually will not get better and is likely to get worse. It may lead to kidney failure and the only treatment options are dialysis or a kidney transplant. Watch this video clip to learn more.

What changes do I need to make because I have kidney disease?

People with kidney disease can and should continue to live their lives in a normal way: working, enjoying friends and family, and staying active. You may also need to make some changes to your diet and lifestyle to slow the progress of your kidney disease and even prevent kidney failure. Watch this video clip to learn more.

Will I need dialysis?

Some people live with kidney disease for years without going on dialysis. Others progress quickly to kidney failure. You can keep track of your kidney health through your blood and urine test results. Watch this video clip to learn more.

What is dialysis?

Dialysis is a treatment to filter wastes and water from your blood. Watch this video clip to learn more.

Is kidney transplant an option?

Some people with kidney failure may be able to receive a kidney transplant. This involves having a healthy kidney from another person surgically placed into the body. The new, donated kidney does the work that the two failed kidneys used to do. The donated kidney can come from someone you don't know who has recently died, or from a living person - a relative, spouse, or friend. The waiting list for donors can take many years. Watch this video clip to learn more.

I feel fine, why do I need to see a surgeon now?

It takes time to prepare for dialysis. A fistula takes several months to heal, so it needs to be placed before you actually are ready to start dialysis. Watch this video clip to learn more.

What is a fistula?

The best kind of long-term vascular access for hemodialysis is an arteriovenous (AV) fistula. An AV fistula causes the vein to grow large and strong for easy access to the blood system. Watch this video clip to learn more.

What happens if I wait to have fistula surgery?

If you delay fistula surgery, you will not be prepared when you need to start dialysis treatment. If you wait, you will need to have a catheter placed for emergency dialysis. People with catheters do not do as well as those who have a fistula. Watch this video clip to learn more.

Page last updated: March 1, 2012