PD Timeline

Hi Judith -

I am at the very beginning of being advised that I need PD. I am trying to work with my employer to advise them how long I will be out of work. What is a general timeframe for the PD implant sugery, healing and training process?

I know it varies somewhat from patient to patient, but Im just looking for some general guidelines.

Thank you


The most common procedure is to have the PD catheter placed a week or two before you begin training for PD in order to allow time for some healing after the surgery. Sometimes the catheter is placed months before it is needed and the portion of the catheter that is to be outside your abdomen is actually “buried” beneath the skin and not brought out until the day you begin training. The is called an embedded catheter and is very convenient since there is nothing that needs to be done by the patient or the nurse until the ourside portion of the catheter is brought out. In some cases, when there is not enough warning that PD is to begin, the catheter will be placed and used immediately but the patient must be lying down for the first 7-10 days each time the catheter is used. Depending on who places the catheter, either a surgeon or the nephrologist, the patient may simply have same-day-surgery with only local numbing of the abdomen and some sedation and the patient can go home that same day. Sometimes general anesthesia is used although that is less common now. If you are working, you may ask to have your catheter placed on a Friday so that you can rest over the weekend and return to work Monday. You will have some discomfort after the surgery of course and usually you are given pills to take at home for a couple of days. Be careful that you are not constipated before surgery—usually you will be asked to take a laxative before surgery, and perhaps to continue afterwards when you are perhaps taking pain pills (which are more constipating) and not as active as usual. Constipation may make the catheter not flow very well and give you a rocky start to PD>
As for training, most often it takes a full week, so you should tell your employer you need at least one week, and perhaps part or all of a second week for training. This is a very important part of the success of your experience on PD so it is best not to try to short-change it in any way. Good luck!!