Plasmapheresis

Also known as: plasma exchange.

What is plasmapheresis?

Plasmapheresis is a medical procedure that can treat autoimmune and other disorders. It involves replacing the body’s plasma to prevent it from attacking the body’s healthy cells.

What happens during the procedure?

A catheter is used to draw blood from the body and pass it through a special machine. The machine removes the plasma from the blood and either replaces it with another solution or treats the plasma and returns it to the blood. Then the blood is returned to the body through a catheter. The treatment lasts 1 to 3 hours and may require several sessions to achieve the desired results.

Is any special preparation needed?

No special preparation is needed for plasmapheresis.

What are the risk factors?

Dizziness, lightheadedness, blurry vision, a feeling of coldness and stomach cramps, blood clotting or bleeding, infection and allergic reaction are potential symptoms of plasmapheresis.


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Reviewed by: Balagangadhar Totapally, MD

This page was last updated on: 5/2/2018 2:04:52 PM



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Meet our July Patient of the Month, Lacy. Lacy was only 2 years old when her parents noticed that something was wrong. They took her to various doctors to try to find what could be the cause, Lacy had an 8 cm. tumor in her brain, occupying most of the lower part of her head.

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