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Our compassionate providers help preserve kidney health and treat kidney disease.

Prevea nephrology - treatment of kidney conditions and abnormalities

Nephrology is focused on the kidneys, specifically normal kidney function and kidney disease.
Kidney disease: an overview

The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs. Each kidney is about the size of a fist. Your kidneys filter extra water and wastes out of your blood and make urine. Kidney disease means your kidneys are damaged and can’t filter blood the way they should. 
   
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the overall prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the general population is approximately 14 percent. More than 661,000 Americans have kidney failure; and of these, 468,000 individuals are on dialysis and roughly 193,000 live with a functioning kidney transplant. 
   
Kidney disease often has no symptoms in its early stages and can go undetected until it is very advanced. For this reason, kidney disease is often referred to as a “silent disease”. 
   
You are at greater risk for kidney disease if you have diabetes or high blood pressure. If you experience kidney failure, treatments include kidney transplant or dialysis. Other kidney problems include acute kidney injury, kidney cysts, kidney stones, and kidney infections. 

Wisconsin statistics for kidney disease

According to the American Society of Nephrology, more than 770,000 people in Wisconsin are living with kidney disease.

Kidney basics: learn how the kidneys work

Learn about how your kidneys work and why they are so important and get personalized information about kidneys. Find out if you are at risk for kidney disease and what tests you need to check your kidney health.

Key services

  • Acid-base disorders 
  • Acute and chronic kidney disease 
  • Acute inpatient kidney care 
  • Acute kidney injury 
  • Continuous renal replacement therapy 
  • Electrolyte disorders 
  • Genetic kidney disease care 
  • Glomerular disease (glomerulopathies) 
  • High blood pressure/hypertension disorders, including 24-hour blood pressure monitoring in western Wisconsin. 
  • Home hemodialysis 
  • Kidney stones 
  • Kidney transplant care 
  • Medical prevention of nephrolithiasis 
  • Peritoneal dialysis 
  • Plasmapheresis 
  • Polycystic kidney disease management 
  • Therapeutic plasma exchange

Acute and chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) means your kidneys are damaged and can’t filter blood the way they should. The main risk factors for developing kidney disease are diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and a family history of kidney failure. 

If you have acute or chronic kidney disease, or any issues with kidney function, we can provide the specialized care you need, including:

Your health care provider may do tests to find out why you have kidney disease. The cause of your kidney disease may affect the type of treatment you receive. Talk to your health care provider about testing for kidney disease if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease or a family history of kidney failure. The sooner you know you have kidney disease, the sooner you can get treatment. 

Polycystic kidney disease

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a genetic disorder that causes many cysts to grow in the kidneys. PKD cysts cause high blood pressure and problems with blood vessels in the brain in heart. Cysts in the liver can also occur with PKD. 
 
Kidney stones

A kidney stone is a solid, pebble-like piece of material that can form in one or both of your kidneys when high levels of certain minerals are in your urine. Kidney stones rarely cause permanent damage if treated by a health care professional. 
   
You may have a kidney stone if you feel a sharp pain in your back, side, lower abdomen, or groin; or have blood in your urine. If you have a small stone that easily passes through your urinary tract, you may not have symptoms at all. 
   
Kidney stones are diagnosed with a physical exam and tests which may be able to show problems that caused a kidney stone to form. Treatment may include removing the kidney stone or breaking it into small pieces. 

Kidney failure 

Kidney disease can worsen over time and may lead to kidney failure. If less than 15 percent of your kidney is functioning normally, that’s considered kidney failure. You may have symptoms from the buildup of waste products and extra water in your body. 
 
Learn about kidney treatment failure options early. Three treatment options filter your blood:

  1. Hemodialysis: A treatment to filer wastes and extra water from your blood. A hemodialysis machine pumps your blood through a filter outside of your body and returns filtered blood to your body.
  2. Peritoneal dialysis: A treatment for kidney failure you can do at home. This type of dialysis uses the lining of your belly to filter wastes and extra fluid from your body.
  3. Kidney transplant: A surgical procedure where a healthy kidney from a donor is placed into your body.

A fourth option may be conservative management, which is care without dialysis or transplant. Your care team continues your care with treatment goals to preserve kidney function and quality of life as long as possible.

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