Although PKD does not have a cure, specific therapy, or treatment, most people with PKD can lead a normal life. The goal of treatment is to ease the symptoms and prevent infections and other problems that can make the condition worse. Treatment is needed to keep complications (such as kidney failure) from occurring or to delay their development.
Pain: In order to relieve pain from the cysts, the larger cysts can sometimes be drained of the fluid, relieving pressure on the area around them. To do this, a small catheter (a very small, flexible tube) is inserted into the cyst to remove the fluid. In severe cases, surgery might be needed to remove the cysts, but this is usually only a temporary solution. Since many pain medications are removed from the body by the kidneys, people with PKD should check with their doctor or pharmacist before starting any medications for pain.
Hypertension: Controlling high blood pressure is important to prevent further kidney damage. Treatment of high blood pressure might involve changes in lifestyle (exercise, diet, stress reduction) and medications.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs): UTIs should be treated as soon as possible, usually with antibiotics, since infection can cause further damage to the kidneys.
Kidney failure: If PKD results in kidney failure (end-stage renal failure) and all other treatments have not stopped the progression of kidney damage, dialysis, or a kidney transplant may be considered.
Dialysis is a process that removes excess fluids and wastes from the bloodstream using a membrane – instead of a kidney – as a filter. Kidney transplants are relatively common now and have a good success rate. Someone who has had a successful transplant can go on to live a normal, healthy life for many years.
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