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Nephrology

Kidney Care & Dialysis

A nephrologist is a physician who has been educated and trained in kidney diseases, kidney transplantation, and dialysis therapy. Nephrology is classified as an internal medicine subspecialty.

Kidneys are a fist-sized, bean-shaped pair of organs located near the lower back that remove waste products and excess fluids from the bloodstream. This waste is secreted as urine and drains into the bladder.

You may be referred to a nephrologist for assistance with:

  • Kidney Stones
  • Renal Disease
  • Kidney Disease
  • Kidney Failure
  • Electrolyte Disorders

To schedule or cancel a nephrology appointment, call 509.663.8711.

Kidney Failure

Kidney failure is the final stage of chronic kidney disease. It is usually caused by underlying health problems that wear and tear at the kidneys over time. Bodies need kidneys in order to function properly, and kidney failure is a serious condition that requires immediate attention.

Kidney failure usually happens gradually, but there have been occasions where they shut down within a couple of days. Be on the lookout for the symptoms of acute kidney failure:

  • Fever
  • Unexplained back pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Nosebleeds
  • Rash
  • Vomiting

These symptoms could be caused by many things, so schedule an appointment with your primary care provider as soon as possible to confirm diagnosis.

Dialysis

At this time, there is no cure for kidney disease. The only way for patients to manage this condition is to receive regular dialysis treatments or receive a kidney transplant. It can be difficult to find suitable donors for kidney transplants, so most patients will undergo dialysis for many years.

Dialysis is a procedure that allows a machine to do the work of the kidneys for your body. It removes waste and cleans blood before returning it to the body. Patients with kidney failure will need to undergo dialysis several times a week for the rest of their lives or until they can find a transplant.

Adjusting to dialysis is difficult, but it will eventually feel like a normal part of daily life. At Confluence Health, we have a state-of-the-art dialysis center designed for patient comfort.

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