Nephrology is a medical discipline that studies the kidneys from an anatomical, physiological and pathological perspective.
There are two kidneys and they are essential organs for life. However, it is possible to live with a single kidney without any problems.
The kidney is an organ that is involved in several processes. Its main function is to detoxify the body by removing toxins produced by the body after filtration in the urine. This blood filtration ensures the balance of water and various elements useful for the proper functioning of the body. In addition, the kidneys play a major role in regulating blood pressure.
However, the kidneys can be affected by a number of diseases of various origins.
Hypertension and diabetes mellitus are the two most common diseases in the field of nephrology. Hereditary diseases, malformations but also drugs can also be harmful to the kidneys.
Nephrological diseases are insidious, often not very symptomatic and therefore difficult to detect. This is why, for several years now, a World Kidney Day has been dedicated to the kidneys, promoting information for the general public and encouraging the detection of kidney abnormalities. The Nephrology Division of the Valais Hospital takes part in this day every year by creating an event on different themes, such as transplantation, the kidney and the heart, hypertension and salt consumption, and the dialysis of tomorrow.
As kidney diseases have different origins, nephrologists regularly collaborate with other specialists: cardiologists, immunologists, rheumatologists, intensivists, surgeons and transplant specialists.
Close collaboration is maintained with family doctors in order to detect these nephrological diseases using simple means and to refer them to the nephrologists as quickly as possible with a view to offering the patient a therapeutic approach adapted to his or her needs (medication, lifestyle, therapeutic education, etc.).
Outpatient nephrology consultations are offered in Visp, Sierre, Sion and Martigny, thus guaranteeing local care in the Valais.
The Monthey Hospital also takes care of patients from the Chablais region.
When kidney function is impaired and the kidneys no longer filter toxins efficiently, it is essential to have recourse to a replacement treatment called dialysis.
Dialysis is a technique known as extra renal purification. The Valais Hospital has a specialised service and high-tech equipment, which enables it to offer quality care 24 hours a day, recognised by the Swiss Medical Association.
The medical specialists of the Valais Hospital collaborate actively and regularly with the university establishments of Lausanne (CHUV), Geneva (HUG), Bern (Inselspital) and the University Hospital of Basel (USB) in a true partnership.
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