Dialysize: not that bad…

The Dialysize music video


Playful advice to dialysis patients, was produced by Dr. Bruce Greenfield, also known as Dr. G, a 62-year old nephrologist from Los Angeles, California. He describes himself as a workaholic who loves nephrology, wordplay and, of course, a bit of extra attention.  He is very proud of his good and long-lasting relationships with his patients.

Dr. Greenfield believes that kidney disease patients do not get enough recognition for their daily struggle; they don’t get the same publicity as cancer or HIV patient do.  When one day one of Dr. G’s patients asked about the diet that a kidney patient should follow, the response was: “no milk, no cheese, no frijoles[1]”. This rhyme made the patient smile, but for Dr. Greenfield it was the beginning of his new project. He decided to use his love for wordplay and humor and turn them into a rap song that would have the answers for most patients’ questions.

When Dr. Greenfield was on a 6-hour long flight, by the time he got off the plane, he had the lyrics for Dialysize ready. The LA influence prompted Dr. G. to look for professional dancers and turn Dialysize into a rap video. Catchy tune, simple lyrics, very relatable visuals and a little humor with the main message being it is NOT THAT BAD to Dialysize. Dr. Greenfield believes that his song can provide some comfort and a sense of community for kidney disease patients. Part of his motivation to make the video is to get that community recognized by the general public, to attract attention and spark conversation.

While Dr. Greenfield stands on the opinion that transplantation is the best option for Ends Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD) treatment, he also understands the current limitations. With waiting lists for a kidney transplant being as long as 7-8 years, in most cases, dialysis is the only option for the patient in the short term.

What is Dialysis?

Dialysis is a life-sustaining treatment for End Stage Kidney Disease patients; there are two types of dialysis: peritoneal dialysis (PD) and hemodialysis (HD). HD machines substitute kidney functions and filter patient’s blood in order to clear it from toxins and waste; patients on HD on average require three times a week administration that lasts around 4 hours each. PD filters toxins out of the body with the help of a bag that is attached to the abdominal area.

Some Data

According to the United States Renal Data System (USRDS), the average price of hemodialysis per patient is $88 000 a year. The kidney transplant bill per person comes on average to $32 000 for the transplant surgery and $25 000 per year for post-surgery care of the patient and the graft.  Although the financial benefit of transplant as opposed to dialysis is clear, without even considering the substantial improvements to the quality of life, there is an apparent shortage of donors and organs available for transplantation. According to Global Observatory on Donation and Transplantation data for 2016, there were 19 858 kidney transplants performed in the U.S., while the current waiting list for a kidney transplant in the U.S.  is estimated to be over 96 000 according to the United Network For Organ Sharing.

While there are still a lot of patients for whom dialysis is the only way to survive, they should follow Dr. G’s advice and remember that it ain’t so bad to Dialysize. Dr. Greenfield’s aim with the Dialysize video was to attract as much attention to the kidney community as possible, and feature the courage and humor of many kidney patients. So let’s make it happen, join World Kidney Day in spreading awareness – like and share.

[1] Frijoles – Hispanic bean dish, very popular in LA due to a large Hispanic population.

Find the full video here: