Healthy kidneys filter out excess fluid and wastes. The kidneys also produce hormones that keep your bones strong, blood chemically balanced and stimulate your bone marrow to make red blood cells. These cells carry oxygen in your blood to your organs.

When end-stage renal failure occurs, treatment is necessary to replace the work of the kidneys. Dialysis is a life-saving option until a suitable organ donor is found, but it is not a cure for end-stage renal failure.

Cost of dialysis
The cost of dialysis is estimated at R79 000 to 80 000 per annum excluding medication.

How long can you be on dialysis?
A patient with end-stage renal failure can be on dialysis for as long as it takes to get a kidney transplant or for the rest of his or her life.

Types of dialysis
Peritoneal dialysis

Written by Dr K. Coetzee, reviewed by Dr R. Moosa, head of the Renal Unit, Tygerberg Academic Hospital.

Read more:
Beating incontinence
Bladder cancer

National Kidney Foundation

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
30% - 9645 votes
70% - 22647 votes