Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What happens to a person after renal failure occurs?"
My dad is on the verge of renal failure, so what's next? What measures will need to be taken after his kidneys fail? How can we prepare?
Renal failure is a term used to describe a state where someone's kidney's are not working at 100% capacity. Sometimes renal failure is a temporary thing. If you dad suffered some sort of assault on his renal system that is temporary, sometimes people can regain kidney function. People that have reduced kidney function usually can survive with only a fraction of full working kidneys for may years. When someone's renal system gets bad enough that it cannot perform the necessary function for the body, then we call that end stage renal failure. When end stage renal failure occurs patients must be placed on dialysis. Dialysis is a procedure that patients with inadequate renal function must undergo 3 times per week to rid their body of waste products that the kidneys would normally get rid of. Dialysis is a tough procedure to go through so often, so good candidates are people that do not have any other major life threatening health problems. Finally, if your dad if fairly young, he may be eligible for a kidney transplant. I suggest that you schedule an appointment for your dad with a nephrologist. This doctor will be able to tell you and your dad what stage of renal failure he is in, and if anything can be done to reverse it. If your dad must go on dialysis, then this doctor can facilitate that. If your dad is eligible for a transplant, then this doctor can help with that too.