How does CAPD work?
For each session of CAPD, you will commence with dialysis solution in your abdomen (from the previous session of CAPD). A catheter, which is a soft plastic tube, will have been inserted in your abdomen. You’ll attach an empty bag (called a “drain bag”) to your catheter, and the existing solution will drain from your abdomen.
A bag of new dialysis solution is also connected to your catheter. This bag will be hung on an IV pole, allowing gravity to draw the fresh solution into your abdomen.
This process of removing the used solution (known as effluent) and exchanging it with the fresh solution is known as an exchange (you have “exchanged” the old solution with fresh solution).
Once the fresh solution has entered your abdomen, the bags are disconnected, and a cap is placed on your catheter so you’re free to go about your day until your next exchange. Each exchange lasts about 30 minutes and happens between 1–4 times a day, depending on your dialysis requirements.