In a recent study, it was shown that more frequent, longer duration hemodialysis had better outcomes than the conventional thrice weekly, four hour sessions that the majority of patients currently undergo.
When I had to switch to Hemodialysis after my peritoneal cavity lost its ability to filter water, I was broken. Life, I thought, was over. But then my nephrologist, Dr. Girish Narayen, suggested nocturnal home hemo. For me, within a few months it was clear that I had got my life back. I didn't need any clinical trials or proof that this modality was better - much, much better.
Today, about five years after I switched, I am leading a pretty much normal life. If I had continued on the conventional hospital based thrice a week dialysis, I wouldn't have survived. Yes, there are people who are doing pretty well on conventional dialysis but it is simply not for me. I value my independence a little too much!
This study is significant though. Many patients don't have an opportunity to try this. Nephrologists as well! Patients generally think the medical community is trying to maximize revenue and profits by asking them to dialyze more frequently. I don't blame them of course. I would think that way too. But such studies would help patients realize this truth and encourage them to make an effort to increase the hours on dialysis and feel better and live longer.