Artificial kidney - Definition

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An artificial kidney is a therapeutic device allowing for the functions of a failing kidney to be carried out either temporarily or permanently. This is notably the case in terminal kidney failure, where the artificial kidney is needed to carry out functions such as eliminating toxins from the blood, regulating the body's water balance, and so on. This medical procedure is also called hemodialysis, and consists of the patient being connected to a machine for several hours, two to three times a week, through which the blood is circulated in order to be artificially filtered of its unwanted molecules. The procedure also allows for excess water that was not expelled by the kidney to be extracted, as well as for blood counts of certain molecules to be regulated. Another possible method exists, which uses the peritoneum membrane, and is called peritoneal dialysis.