Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis has become a highly acclaimed method of maintenance therapy in the management of end stage renal disease in childhood. This type of dialysis affords freedom and comfort, and lessens dependence. Furthermore, the over-all reduction in hospital-related cost of this therapy currently has made continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis the recommended procedure of choice at our institution. From July 1980 through May 1986 we offered this form of therapy to 45 patients between 4 days and 17 years old. A total of 68 Tenckhoff catheters were placed. Reasons for catheter removal included persistent peritonitis, tunnel infection, catheter leakage, catheter obstruction, successful kidney transplant, motivational failure, midline nephrectomy and death. Patient and parent instruction and indoctrination were critical factors in catheter survival. Our experience with the specific technical aspects of insertion documented that the single cuff, coiled Tenckhoff catheter and long, subcutaneous tunnel were definite advantages. These factors favored early use and long-term survival. The course of these patients with respect to nutrition, growth, emotional activity, infections and catheter survival is presented.
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