Dialysis or a kidney transplant is needed when your kidneys have stopped working. A sudden drop in kidney function is called acute kidney failure. More often kidney function worsens over a number of years (called chronic kidney disease) until there is less than 10% function left. This is when permanent dialysis or a kidney transplant is needed.
Dialysis removes waste from your blood when the kidneys fail. There are two form of dialysis, haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
Dialysis must be performed for the rest of your life or until you receive a kidney transplant. If the transplant is unsuccessful, dialysis can be restarted.