HF 5138

Caring for Your Peritoneal Dialysis Catheter

This handout will tell you how to take care of your peritoneal dialysis (PD) catheter.


The dressing on your abdomen should stay clean, dry, and firmly taped. Do not take showers or baths. Do not get the dressings wet until the Peritoneal Dialysis staff tells you it is okay.

Dressing Changes

The nurses in Peritoneal Dialysis will change the dressings when needed while you are in the hospital. After discharge, you need to go to the Outpatient Dialysis Clinic for dressing changes. If the dressings become loose, add more tape and gauze if needed.

Depending on when you start using the catheter for PD, the nurse will also run some fluids in and out of the catheter to make sure it works well. This will be done weekly until you are fully healed and you begin training for home dialysis, or until the catheter is used for dialysis (about 3-4 weeks).


  • Do not lift more than 15 pounds for the first week. Then lift no more than 30 pounds for 2 months.

  • Avoid straining while having a bowel movement.

When to Call

  • Bloody dressings.

  • Wet dressings.

  • Belly pain, either deep inside you or on the surface (If pain is normal for you, call if you have more pain or if the pain changes).

  • Fever over 100.5°F or chills.

  • Nausea and vomiting.

Who to Call

Peritoneal Dialysis Clinic
____________ or __________ (after hours).

Return to the PD Clinic ________________.

If you do not have a follow-up visit scheduled, call your local peritoneal dialysis unit.