What is it?

Dialysis is a purifying treatment that is given to those patients whose kidney function has deteriorated to the point that it is no longer sufficient. Patients with acute renal failure, who are usually hospitalized with a hope of recovery of function, as well as chronic renal failure, who will not be able to discontinue treatment without a functioning renal transplant, are placed on dialysis.

Different modes of intermittent or continuous extracorporeal treatment are possible.

When is this procedure indicated?

Dialysis treatment is indicated in all forms of acute or chronic renal failure in which toxic or volume overload makes this treatment essential.

How is it performed?

Hemodialysis. Purification is achieved by circulating the patient's blood through a filter where it is purified by an exchange with a special liquid (dialysate). Treatment includes: hemodialysis with polysulfone membranes and on-line hemodiafiltration with polysulfone or other membranes.

Hemodialysis treatment takes place in the hospital, lasts 3-4 hours and is usually repeated three times a week. It requires valid vascular access (fistula or permanent catheter). The dialysis service in Ospedale San Raffaele is equipped with monitors with programmed ultrafiltration and double reverse osmosis equipment for the preparation of water for hemodialysis.
In addition to traditional hemodialysis, continuous treatments are given to acute patients admitted to the various intensive care units of the hospital.

Peritoneal Dialysis. Purification occurs through the peritoneum, a thin membrane that rests on the front wall of the abdomen. A catheter implanted in the abdominal cavity exchanges a quantity of liquid into the peritoneal cavity. This procedure is performed with manual or automated method, usually by the patient himself at home with sterile technique, after proper instruction.

In addition to inpatient treatment of chronic patients, Ospedale San Raffaele provides nephrological treatment and care to chronic renal failure patients on dialysis at other centers who must be admitted to San Raffaele or who are in Milan for a short period of time.


The dialysis therapy is carried out safely due to the technological development that allows to monitor the progress of individual treatments and the vital parameters of patients.

Are you interested in receiving the treatment?

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