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Kidney Conditions

At UVA, we offer expert kidney care you can trust. Each year, more than 900 patients receive dialysis at one of nine locations across Central Virginia. Our nephrologists (doctors who specialize in kidney conditions) have extensive experience treating a broad range of kidney conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure.

Kidney Conditions We Treat

We specialize in detecting kidney conditions in their earliest stages. Our kidney specialists offer innovative treatments, including renal replacement therapy, dialysis and kidney transplant.

When you have chronic kidney disease (CKD), your kidneys slowly lose their ability to filter your blood, causing toxins to build up in your body. High levels of toxins may make you sick. There are many conditions that can lead to CKD, including:

  • Diabetes: Diabetes makes it difficult for some people to convert food into energy. People with diabetes are at risk for many complications, including kidney disease.
  • High blood pressure: Also known as hypertension, this condition puts stress on your organs and blood vessels. Over time, high blood pressure can lead to permanent organ damage, including kidney failure.
  • Glomerulonephritis: This kidney condition develops when tiny structures (glomeruli) in your kidneys become damaged. These tiny structures are needed to filter blood. 
  • Polycystic kidney disease: This is a genetic (inherited) disease that causes cysts to form in the kidneys. Cysts are abnormal sacs of fluid that interfere with the kidneys’ normal functioning. 
  • Acute kidney injury: Acute kidney injury occurs when your kidneys suddenly stop working. This condition can happen when your kidneys do not get enough blood or you experience complications from certain medications. 
  • Chronic kidney (renal) failure: The most serious form of CKD, renal failure happens when your kidneys are no long able to do their job. People with renal failure need life-saving treatments, such as dialysis or a kidney transplant. 

Kidney Disease Treatment at UVA

Our team works together to make an accurate diagnosis so we can create a personalized treatment plan that meets your health needs. If your kidney disease is not causing any problems, we may recommend lifestyle changes and medication as a conservative treatment approach.

If you continue feeling sick, we recommend treatment options to meet your needs. Your options may include:

  • Dialysis: Regular dialysis treatments take over the work of your kidneys by filtering your blood and removing extra fluids. UVA Health offers a broad range of dialysis treatments. We offer options that are not widely available, including nocturnal dialysis, which filters your blood while you sleep. 
  • Kidney transplant: A kidney transplant is a surgical procedure to replace a diseased kidney with a healthy donor kidney. Our program has a 40-year history of delivering the best available care before, during and after your procedure.  

Your doctor will help you select a treatment option based on the stage of the kidney disease you are experiencing as well as your lifestyle preferences. Learn more about kidney disease stages.

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