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To help you become more familiar with Central Florida Kidney Centers, kidney disease, treatment options, and how to get started as a patient with us, click on the area of interest for more detailed answers or search in the search bar.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Who are we?

Central Florida Kidney Centers is a locally operated kidney health organization with dialysis centers in Orange, Osceola and Brevard counties, providing treatment options for adults, children and infants.

Central Florida Kidney Centers are staffed with caring physicians, nurses, dietitians, social workers and technical staff to support patients and families with dialysis that includes: transplant education, diet and nutrition, social services and much more.

Q2. Where are Central Florida Kidney Centers?

Our 7 offices and dialysis centers  (or if possible Google Maps links to each office)

•    Downtown Orlando near the Orlando Health campus
•    Dr. Phillips/Sand Lake Road area near Universal Studios and International Drive
•    East Orlando off Lake Underhill Road between Goldenrod and SR 417

•     North Osceola County on Landstar Blvd between Osceola Parkway and SR 417

•    North Melbourne at Suntree Road and N. Wickham Roads
•    Near downtown Melbourne off Apollo and Hibiscus Blvd
•    Palm Bay near Health First’s Palm Bay Hospital off Malabar Road

Q3. You have been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, what now?

It is possible to thrive and lead a productive, active life after a diagnosis of chronic kidney disease, and together we can do just that. We are committed to your well-being and will diligently work with you to build a treatment plan specific to your medical needs and abilities. Our goal as your health care partner goes beyond helping you manage your chronic kidney disease - we want you to thrive!

Q1. What role do kidneys play in your health?

Kidneys are vital organs, and we cannot survive without them. In most cases we are born with two kidneys, but sometimes only one, it is entirely possible to live a productive life with one healthy kidney. Our kidneys, shaped like a bean about the size of one’s fist, sit on either side of our spine just underneath our rib cage. Kidneys are vital because they filter our blood by removing bodily waste and excess fluid, which are then removed from our bodies when we urinate. Our kidneys also have other important functions, they help regulate our blood pressure, help keep our bones healthy and make red blood cells to oxygenate our bodies.

When our kidneys are damaged due to risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure or they become diseased, bodily waste and fluid are not properly eliminated from our body.  The bodily waste flows back into our bloodstream, which can cause additional problems for our heart, lungs, blood and bones.

Q2. What is Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?

When you have kidney disease, depending on what stage, your kidneys may no longer be able to remove waste effectively from your body or balance your fluids to keep you healthy. This buildup of wastes can change the chemistry balance of your body, causing some symptoms you may feel—and others you may not.
Although the initial symptoms of kidney disease may not be readily apparent they will show up in tests that your doctor can order. If you are experiencing kidney problems it’s important to let your primary care physician or Nephrologist know, and to partner closely with him or her and your health care team as early as possible.

Q3. What are the symptoms of kidney disease?

A CKD diagnosis may come as a surprise to many people because in the early stages the symptoms are sometimes subtle and not apparent. The symptoms of early kidney disease may include:

  • Change in urination
  • Swelling in feet and ankles
  • Fatigue
  • Appetite loss
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling cold
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble concentrating
  • High blood pressure
  • Trouble sleeping

Q4. What are risk factors for kidney disease?

Knowing the signs, symptoms and stages of kidney failure is critical to managing kidney disease.  The most common risk factors contributing to kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), heart disease, heredity, being over sixty years old. Certain ethnicities also tend to have a higher incidence of kidney disease.

In many cases kidney disease caused by diabetes and high blood pressure is preventable. Following a kidney-friendly diet,  a daily physical activity plan and working with your physician and health care team to understand and manage your risk factors can help prevent or slow down kidney disease.

Left untreated kidney disease is progressive in nature and can have a cascading effect on your health leading to permanent/chronic damage to your kidneys which in turn can progress to kidney failure.

If you are unsure whether you have kidney disease or not, there are a number of available tests your primary care physician or Nephrologist may order including but not limited to an eGFR (estimated glomerular filtration rate), a urine test or blood pressure test.

Q5. Can you live with kidney disease?

Thirty-seven million people in the United States live with CKD and you can too.  Our team of caring professionals at Central Florida Kidney Centers is here to serve and help guide you through every step.  For nearly five decades we’ve been working for the well-being of our patients affected by kidney disease by providing individual, personalized care and treatment plans.  Your dialysis care team at Central Florida Kidney Centers, revolves around you to help you learn about, plan, manage, and take chard of your kidney disease.

Q6. How many stages of kidney disease are there?

The National Kidney Foundation divides kidney disease into five stages using the Estimated Glomerular Filtrate Rate (eGFR) test. Each stage requires a different treatment approach, so it is important to be aware of these stages and what each stage says about your kidney health.  We are here for you no matter the stage.

Stage 1    Normal kidney function   |  eGFR result- 90 or higher
Stage 2    Mild loss of kidney function   |  eGFR result- 60-89            
Stage 3    Mild-moderate & moderate-severe loss kidney function   |   eGFR result-a. 45-59 & b. 30-44    
Stage 4    Severe loss of kidney function   |  eGFR result- 15-29            
Stage 5    Kidney failure   |  eGFR result- 15 or less   

Q7. You have been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, what now?

It is possible to thrive and lead a productive, active life after a diagnosis of chronic kidney disease, and together we can do just that. We are committed to your well-being and will diligently work with you to build a treatment plan specific to your medical needs and abilities. Our goal as your health care partner goes beyond helping you manage your chronic kidney disease - we want you to thrive!

Q1. What is kidney dialysis?

Kidney dialysis acts as an artificial kidney to filter out toxins and waste in the blood that your kidneys may no longer be able to do. No form of dialysis is a cure for kidney failure. However, over the last fifty years, advances in medicine have allowed those with kidney disease to live full lives with regular medical care, a healthy diet and daily physical activity.

Q2. Are there different types of dialysis?

There are two types, hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis-

Hemodialysis is performed either in one of our dialysis centers or at home. Under close supervision of a care team, you will be connected to a dialysis machine that will act as a healthy kidney, filtering waste, toxins and excess fluid out of your blood. And before your leave, your newly cleansed blood is returned to your body to perform its good work until your next treatment.

Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) is a dialysis treatment option that uses your own abdomen lining to naturally filter waste from your blood. While PD does not require a needle for each treatment, patients need minor surgery to have a catheter placed in your abdomen to allow a cleansing solution to help filter waste products through your bloodstream and remove naturally.

The PD treatment is usually done at home in multiple sessions a day or while you sleep and may require fewer food restrictions and less medication. For PD, you will need to keep the area clean to avoid infections.

The PD option is not for everyone as it may require some lifestyle adaptations and is not ideal for you if you do a lot of bending for your work or at home.

Q1. Is dialysis an option for children waiting for a kidney transplant?

Yes, pediatric dialysis  is an interim solution for children until they are able to receive a kidney from a donor. Pediatric dialysis is similar to adult dialysis, but specialized techniques and equipment are used to ensure the safety and comfort of children during the treatment.

Treatments may be initially uncomfortable, but not painful, and will last 2-4 hours depending on your child’s doctor recommendation. While resting in the center, your child will be connected to a dialysis machine which will filter and clean your child’s blood, removing waste products and excess fluid from the body.  For children, we use safe and specialized techniques and equipment to ensure the safety and comfort of children during the dialysis therapy.  

Our pediatric dialysis center is located in downtown Orlando at 203 Ernestine St., Orlando, FL 32801 with specialized staff, equipment, free WiFi and video entertainment to support children during dialysis.

Q1. How would Central Florida Kidney Centers help before a transplant?

Our transplant support team meets with patients and family members to help them fully understand the process, benefits, risks and responsibilities for transplantation. This is done in coordination with your nephrologist and medical team.  There are tests that transplant centers require for the pre-transplant workup process which our social workers can guide you through.  Your CFKC team will help you keep the records necessary to maintain your status on the transplant registry after being accepted as a transplant candidate.

Q1. What medical information from me is needed to get started?

In coordination with your doctor, we ask for accurate and the most up to date medical information from you, because without it we cannot create and individualize a treatment plan specific to your medical needs.

Q1. What insurance payment plans do you accept?

CFKC works with all state, federal and private insurance companies for your kidney dialysis payment plan needs. See more details here about insurance.