Nephrology & Urology - CAPD

Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD)

CAPD is a type of peritoneal dialysis that cleans the body and replaces the work of diseased kidneys. It does not require any machine for treatment and can be done in any clean place. It works by a process called exchange that happens manually with gravity. It involves three steps- Fills, Dwell and Drain.

Fill It is a process of filling the abdomen with a special fluid called ‘dialysate.’

Dwell The time the dialysis solution remains in the abdomen between exchanges is called Dwell time.

Drain Used dialysate fluid with waste products is drained out.

How does it work?

CAPD can be done in any clean place. The catheter is placed into the peritoneal cavity under anesthesia, with about 10-15 cm being kept outside of the body. The catheter stays in for as long as the peritoneal dialysis occurs. About 1-3 liters of dialysis fluid is run via the catheter into the peritoneal cavity. The tubing is attached in the shape of a Y with two bags attached to the catheter. One bag contains dialysate, and the other is empty. The empty bag is used to drain off used dialysate fluid and waste products. The dwell time is usually about 4-6 hours and will be longer at night. While you go about your day, the fluid will collect waste and water. Patients are free to engage in daily activities between exchanges.

Later, the fluid is drained out into an empty bag. It uses gravity to drain the fluid. This is called an exchange process. A new load of fluid is then drained into the peritoneal cavity. The patient will fill his/her abdomen one last time, and the dialysate will sit in the abdomen all night long. The process of draining the dialysate and replacing new solution takes 30- 40 minutes. Exchanges may be done 3-5 times during a day, and sometimes once during the night.



  • Cramps in leg
  • Hypotension- It usually occurs due to a drop in fluid levels during dialysis.
  • Weight gain- Dialysate fluid during PD contains sugar molecules, which is later absorbed by the body.
  • Hernia formation
  • Leaks

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