top of page
  • Kidney Conversations

How much fluid is removed during dialysis?

Updated: Apr 16, 2022

In our research, a question is asked by many dialysis patients and also those who are facing dialysis. Is how much fluid will be removed during dialysis? It is also a very important question that really may not have one simple answer but we will give you the education to understand the amounts of fluid that will be taken off of you.

What is Dialysis?

Dialysis is a process that removes waste products and excess fluid from the body. The two most typical dialysis treatments are:


Is the process of cleaning the patients blood by removing it from the body "dializing" or cleaning it and it and returning it to the body. The average hemodialysis is a four hour treatment the patients will have on average 3 dialysis sessions a week.

Peritoneal Dialysis

Is the process of filling the patients stomach of peritoneal cavity with 2 liters or 2000 ml of dialysis fluid the patient then leaves the fluid in their stomach for about 3 hours with and then it is removed and refilled approxemitly 3 to four times a day.

What percent of water is the human body?

The human body is said to be made up of up to 60% water with each organ of the body made up of its own water percentage. For example, it is said that the Lungs are made up of 83% water your heart contains 73% water and even your bones carry 31% water. But what about the kidneys how much water are they? The kidneys themselves contain 79% water.

With all of this water needed to run the engine of the human body why do we need to remove so much? Let’s remember that kidneys that are not working at 100% are not filtering the water from the body and passing it as urine.

What is your Dry Weight?

In order to understand how much fluid to remove during your dialysis treatment, your medical team will want to know what your “Dry Weight” is This is the term that is used as your target weight. Your dry weight is determined by your medical team as an estimate of your weight without any extra water.

Dry weight measurements are always done in KG. While most know their weight as pounds you are now going to have your weight done in kilograms and for this reference, one kilogram is the equivalent to 2.2 pounds.

Now we know about the body and fluid, we also know about our dry weight let’s get into the answer of how much fluid will be taken off during dialysis.

How much fluid to take off.

Let’s start this section off with an example.

Meet Kidney Patient Stephen (all information is based on fictional character)

Stephen is a 56-year-old male.

Polycystic Kidney Disease.

Hemodialysis 3 times a week Monday Wednesday Friday

Dry Weight is 160 lbs. or 72.57 kg

Monday Pre-treatment weight 165 lbs. or 75 kg

Fluid removal 2.43 kg or 5 lbs. of fluid.

In this example above Stephen came in over his dry weight on Monday morning. Stephen’s dry weight was determined to be 72.57 kg his pre-treatment weight was 75kg. With Stephen only having less than 10% of kidney function his body does still produce urine but his kidneys do not remove as much as a person with healthy kidneys. The machine will help remove the extra water.

Why am I over in water weight?

Being overweight at the start of treatment can be normal for someone who is just starting with dialysis. There are a few reasons why this could happen and you along with your medical team will get to the bottom of it and help you only have to remove the least amount of fluid.

· Your dry weight estimate is off – this will take a bit to really understand your true dry weight

· Too many days between treatments – if we look at our example above Stephen was on an M/W/F schedule we stated in the example this was a Monday treatment there were 2 days in-between his last treatment Saturday and Sunday, so every Monday Stephen might be overdue to the extra day.

· You drank too much fluid it may have been a hot humid day, It may have been a big holiday it was your birthday or you may not have meant to but you just had too much fluid intake over taking your maximum amount causing a fluid overload.

· You ate your extra water. – That salad was great and wow was it healthy but just like our bodies those veggies are made up of mostly water. Also be careful of the extra salt.


Removing too much fluid too quickly.

The average Hemodialysis treatment is approximately 4 hours having a large amount of fluid above your dry weight can cause treatment problems if that extra fluid needs to be removed too quickly. In speaking with some Kidney Dialysis Patents they have stated the following as their own experience of having a lot of fluid removed quickly during treatment.

· Low blood pressure causing fainting or faint feeling.

· Cramps in legs, feet, or hands

· Nausea

· Dizziness

· Difficulty breathing

Not all people will feel this way but many have. It is important to try to keep close to your dry weight.


So how much fluid will they take off in Dialysis? This answer is not a set amount it is all dependent on you the patient and your dry weight. With the help of your medical team and education about your fluid intake, you will learn how to stay close to your dry weight.

Kidney Conversations is just the start of the conversation that you will need to continue with your medical team. Education is best and knowing your own body will help you in your battle with kidney disease.


USGS.GOV Water in the body

KIDNEY.ORG Dry weight

1,087 views0 comments
bottom of page