Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Polycystic Kidney Disease Treatment

Treatment for polycystic kidney disease may include medications, a kidney disease diet, and restricting fluids in the diet. Treatment for kidney failure caused by polycystic kidney disease requires kidney dialysis or peritoneal dialysis. Kidney transplant may be an option for some patients.

Specific treatment for polycystic kidney disease may include:

  • Medication for polycystic kidney disease
    • Medications to control pain
  • Vitamin supplements for polycystic kidney disease
  • Kidney disease diet
  • Surgery:
    • Surgery only provides temporary pain relief and does not change the course of the disease
    • Aimed at the removal of a large cysts that are causing pain or bleeding
    • May be performed with a conventional open incision or laparoscopically
  • Endoscopic removal of a kidney cyst from within the kidney:
    • May be an option, depending on the size and location of the cyst
    • A flexible scope is passed through the ureter and into the kidney
  • Dialysis for kidney failure:
  • Fluid restriction for polycystic kidney disease
  • Kidney transplant for polycystic kidney disease

Kidney Dialysis
Severe kidney disease can result in kidney failure or end stage renal disease. The kidneys are unable to remove fluid and waste from the body. The treatment for kidney failure requires kidney dialysis.

The two types of dialysis include:
  • Hemodialysis:
    • Blood flows through a machine that filters waste from the bloodstream.
  • Peritoneal dialysis:
    • Fluid is placed inside the abdominal cavity
    • Waste products seep into the fluid through the tissue in the abdomen
    • Fluid is removed from the abdomen

Polycystic Kidney Disease Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of polycystic kidney disease.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • Do I need to stay in the hospital?
    • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Do I need to change my diet?
  • Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
  • When can I resume my normal activities?
  • When can I return to work?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk for kidney failure?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

Polycystic Kidney Disease Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat polycystic kidney disease:

Continue to Polycystic Kidney Disease Home Care

Last Updated: Nov 5, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Polycystic Kidney Disease References
  1. Bissler JJ, Dixon BP. A mechanistic approach to inherited polycystic kidney disease. Pediatr Nephrol. 2005 May;20(5):558-66. [15719257]
  2. Smyth BJ, Snyder RW, Balkovetz DF, Lipschutz JH. Recent advances in the cell biology of polycystic kidney disease. Int Rev Cytol. 2003;231:51-89. [14713003]
  3. Torres VE. Therapies to slow polycystic kidney disease. Nephron Exp Nephrol. 2004;98(1):e1-7. [15361692]
  4. Wilson PD. Polycystic kidney disease: new understanding in the pathogenesis. Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2004 Oct;36(10):1868-73. [15203099]
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