Can Kidneys Start Working Again After Dialysis?

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Dialysis is one of the vital treatment methods to replace kidney functions in people who are deprived of kidney function. Eliminating waste materials and toxins from the blood maintains the body’s chemical balance and supports the lives of patients affected by kidney diseases.

Due to the high importance of the kidneys in blood purification and maintaining the body’s acid-base balance, their failure to function correctly can have severe consequences for a person’s health. In cases where the kidneys are not able to continuously purify the blood, the presence of Signs That You Need Dialysis tells you that dialysis is needed to maintain life and improve the quality of life of patients.

A related question for patients and healthcare providers is whether the kidneys can regain function after starting dialysis. This topic includes understanding the nature of kidney failure, the potential for kidney recovery, and the factors influencing this process. We will examine them further.

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A brief reference to kidney failure

Kidney failure is the state in which the kidneys lose their ability to filter waste products from the blood effectively. It is better to know that kidney failure usually starts from chronic kidney disease (CKD) and progresses to ESRD or acute conditions such as AKI. 

CKD is generally a gradual loss of kidney function over time, usually caused by conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and glomerulonephritis. In contrast, AKI is a sudden impairment of kidney function due to factors such as severe infections, medications, or blood loss.

Potential for kidney improvement

If you are asking how likely it is for the kidney to return to its full and original function after dialysis, we must say that it depends on the underlying reason for kidney failure and the general health of the patient. We will break it down below:


Acute kidney injury (AKI)

In cases of AKI, the kidneys may start working again when certain conditions are met after a period of dialysis. Recovery can occur within days to weeks and, in some cases, months. These conditions include:

  • Early detection and treatment: Early intervention, such as infection control, discontinuation of nephrotoxic drugs, and restoration of blood flow, can increase the chance of kidney recovery. Note that in some kidney-related problems, such as the formation of kidney stones, it is easy to diagnose and act on time. So knowing that “What Are The First Signs Of Kidney Stone?” You can avoid serious problems.


  • Supportive Care: As we have emphasized many times before. Post-treatment care is critical and vital. Therefore, maintaining optimal blood pressure, hydration, and electrolyte balance during the recovery phase should be taken seriously.


  • General health: One of the most influential factors in the rapid recovery of dialysis patients is age. In this way, younger patients who have fewer diseases will be more likely to recover.


Chronic kidney disorder (CKD) and end-stage renal illness(ESRD)

It may be bad news that statistics show that in patients with CKD or ESRD, the probability of kidney recovery after dialysis treatment is very low. Unfortunately, we have to say that CKD is a progressive and irreversible disease. However, doctors are trying to help with some interventions and the introduction of factors to improve kidney function, or in other words, to improve the quality of life and increase the patient’s life span. These interventions and agents are:

  • Management of underlying conditions: Controlling diabetes, high blood pressure, and other underlying causes can slow disease progression and, in rare cases, improve kidney function.


  • Medications: Researchers have found that some drugs prescribed to decrease proteinuria (protein in the urine) and control blood pressure can help maintain kidney function.


  • Lifestyle changes: Diet modification, weight management, and smoking cessation can help overall kidney health.

General Factors Affecting Kidney Recovery

Research shows that several factors affect the relative health of the kidneys after dialysis, which can keep the patient alive for years. These factors include:


  • Dialysis duration

    The length of time the patient has been on dialysis is a critical and determining factor. The longer the time, the less likely the kidneys will recover. This is especially true for patients with ESRD because long-term dialysis can cause significant and irreversible damage to the kidneys.


  • Age and underlying diseases

    Older patients and those with multiple health disorders are less likely to recover. Diseases such as cardiovascular problems, diabetes, and chronic infections can further impair kidney function.


  • Response to treatment

    How a patient responds to treatments that address the underlying cause of kidney failure affects the potential for recovery. For example, patients whose AKI is due to a reversible cause, such as dehydration or drug intoxication, have a better chance of recovering kidney function.

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Monitoring and evaluation of kidney function

The purpose of kidney dialysis is to support its proper functioning. Therefore, kidney function should be monitored during this treatment and even after. For this purpose, there are several tests as follows:

  • Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and Serum creatinine: These levels are commonly measured to assess kidney function. It is important to note here that the blood creatinine level in the body should be balanced. But there are causes to go up and down creatinine levels. And knowing “What Level Of Creatinine Is Alarming?” It will be very important to understand kidney function.
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR): The response of this test shows the success of the kidneys in removing waste materials from the kidneys.
  • Urine output and composition: The amount and content of urine contain detailed information about kidney function, which is determined in this test.


As mentioned earlier, high dialysis can be a threat to health, so with regular monitoring of kidney function during and after dialysis, it will be possible to make an informed decision about continuing or stopping dialysis.

What are the answers from case studies and clinical evidence?

Many studies have been conducted to determine how well the kidney recovers and resumes function after dialysis. For example, research shows that a significant proportion of all patients with AKI who require dialysis achieve sufficient function to discontinue dialysis after dialysis. These researches show that factors such as early intervention, age, and the absence of chronic diseases have been influential in kidney recovery after dialysis.

In contrast, the results for CKD and ESRD patients are pretty disappointing. Recovery in these patients is rare but not impossible. Some case studies have reported improved quality of life and increased life expectancy in CKD patients following intensive management of underlying conditions and lifestyle modification.But some others are disappointed with its effect and suggest kidney transplant surgery.

Note: After kidney transplant surgery, it will be very important to follow Kidney Transplant Aftercare for maximum effect and prevent kidney rejection.

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Auxiliary forces, the effect of dialysis on the recovery of kidneys

As we said, patients with kidney failure have to undergo dialysis. In this section, in addition to knowing “How Effective Is Kidney Dialysis?” It is important to note that for patients with renal recovery potential, several non-dialysis agents may be helpful in addition to dialysis. Also, a multidisciplinary approach involving nephrologists, primary care physicians, nutritionists, and other health care professionals was necessary to manage dialysis patients and assess the potential for renal recovery.

The team can provide comprehensive care, addressing all aspects of a patient’s health and providing appropriate interventions to maximize the chances of recovery. Below, we mention the most important of them:

  • Medications: Medications that reduce proteinuria and control blood pressure, such as ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers, can help.
  • Nutritional support: Proper nutrition is important for kidney health, including consuming enough protein, avoiding foods high in potassium, and ensuring adequate hydration.
  • Hydration management: ensuring optimal fluid balance to prevent dehydration and fluid overload.
  • Psychological and emotional support: Given that dialysis patients often experience significant mental and emotional stress. The support of mental health professionals, counseling, and support groups will be effective in managing anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders related to chronic diseases and dialysis.

  • Future directions and research: Ongoing research into kidney regeneration, stem cell therapy, and advanced drug interventions holds promise for improving outcomes for patients with kidney failure. Investigating new therapies and understanding the mechanisms of kidney injury and repair can lead to innovative treatments that enhance kidney recovery.


Whether the kidneys can begin working again after dialysis depends on various factors, including the cause and duration of kidney failure, the general health of the patient, and timely intervention.

The good news for AKI patients is that the possibility of improving their kidneys is very high. On the other hand, patients with CKD or ESRD face more important challenges. 

However, one should not despair, and although complete recovery seems impossible for this category of patients, by applying comprehensive care, including medical management, lifestyle changes, and psychological support, the results and quality of life for most patients can improve. 

Will find and help their longevity. Continued research and advances in medical science are critical to discovering new ways to regenerate and treat kidneys.

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Author and specialist

Dr. Majid Zahrabi,


  • Board Certified Neurosurgeon
  • DHA certificate holder
  • Plantation certificate holder, France
  • Certified holder of Discogol, France
  • A pioneer in the non-surgical treatment of disc herniation in the Middle East and CIS countries.
  • Under the training and coaching of Professor Jacques Theron (founder of Discogel Therapy) since 2008
  • More than 400 successful cervical and 1300 lumbar discogel injections
  • Trained and certified several neurosurgeons and spine surgeons in the Middle East and CIS countries for the treatment of Discogel
  • Strong belief in patient-centered care planning and participation
  • Neurosurgeon and spine surgeon at Imam Khomeini and Amir Mazandarani Hospital, Sari, Iran, with more than 430 surgeries annually, 2000-2011
  • Neurosurgeon and spine surgeon at Farmaniyeh, Nikan and Yas Sepid Hospital, Tehran, Iran, with more than 400 surgeries annually, 2011-2012
  • Neurosurgeon at Iranian Hospital, Dubai, 2022-2023
  • Since 2015, he has been working as a reference doctor for the treatment of intervertebral disc herniation with Discogel and has trained many doctors of spine-related specialties in various countries of the Middle East and CIS in person/practically and online.



  • Individual training sessions under the direct supervision of Professor Jacques Theron in Discogel treatment, 2008-2020
  • Training sessions under the supervision of Professor Thierry Boye on spinal implants, 2007
  • Participation and presentation in several national and international medical and neuro-spinal conferences
  • Board certificate by Iran Neurosurgery Board, 2001
  • Neurosurgery assistant training course, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran, 1996-2001 (In 2001, he graduated from Isfahan University of Medical Sciences with the first rank in the country.
  • His thesis the titled:The Application of human amniotic membrane in repair of dura matter in dogs.” ( It was happening for the first time in the world. )
  • General medical education, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran, 1984-1993


Published books:

  • CT scan of the brain for doctors
  • Etiology and treatment of painful spine disorders
  • Atlas of diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of spine disorders
  • The most common mistakes in the treatment of spinal disorders
  • Reading brain CT scan in simple language (3rd place in the book of the year)
  • Treatment of head and spine injuries

Publications and articles:

  • Bacteriostatic and bactericidal effects of DISCOGEL® (https://www.researchgate.net/)
  • Muscle recovery, reduction of pain, and improvement of movement strategies in patients with lumbar discopathy after injection of Discogel.
  • The article on the initial results of the treatment of intervertebral disc herniation with discogel injection, which won the second-best poster rank at the Pan Arab International Congress of Interventional Radiology (March 14-16, 2015) and was accepted for presentation at the Chicago Pain Congress.
  • The use of human amniotic membrane in dura mater repair in dogs, a study for the first time in the world.



  • Annual Congress of Physiotherapists of Iran, 2019
  • Chicago International Pain Congress, 2019
  • Iran International Pain Management Congress, 2018
  • Annual Congress of Physiotherapists of Iran, 2018
  • Presentation of Discogel as an innovative solution for the treatment of spinal disc herniation in Armenia for orthopedic specialists and neurosurgeons, 2017
  • First Live Workshop and Seminar on Minimally Invasive Disc Therapy (DISCON), 2017
  • Presentation of Discogel as an innovative solution for the treatment of spinal disc herniation in Azerbaijan for orthopedic specialists and neurosurgeons, 2016
  • Seminar of Iranian official managers, 2016
  • Presentation of Discogel as an innovative solution for the treatment of spinal disc herniation in Tajikistan for orthopedic specialists and neurosurgeons, 2016
  • International Neurological Intervention Congress in Iran, 2014
  • Educational seminar for nurses on treatment approaches for head and spine trauma, 2014
  • Educational seminar for general practitioners on treatment approaches for head and spine trauma, 2014
  • Speech at the Retraining Seminar for General Practitioners and Specialists in Dubai (Discon) in 2017
  • Speech in the internal retraining courses of Irani Hospital, Dubai
  • Holding lecture sessions and practical workshops on the treatment of intervertebral disc herniation with discogel injection in Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Oman, and Armenia during the years 2015 to 2021.
  • Giving a lecture and holding a practical workshop for neurosurgeons in Vietnam at Ho Chi Minh City University in 2023

Dr. Majid Zohrabi started treating his patients in Dubai in 2022 and continues his activities in private medical centers in the UAE.