When kidneys fail, toxins, waste products and excess fluid build-up in the body and can make you very sick. Some treatment will be necessary, either in the form of dialysis or kidney transplantation, to replace kidney function, which is necessary for life, or through conservative management to treat the effects of kidney failure. Each of the three types of treatments, hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis and kidney transplantation, have advantages and disadvantages. Not all treatments are suitable for all patients due to certain conditions and situations. Patients and families should discuss all choices carefully with the physician and healthcare team members. Additionally, patients who have been seriously ill for some time, and for whom the burden of treatment would diminish their remaining quality of life may consider the option for conservative management. Although this can be a very difficult decision for the patient and the family, the healthcare team can provide the needed support if this form of treatment is chosen.