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.


Reviewed by: Balagangadhar Totapally, MD

This page was last updated on: 5/24/2018 11:41:13 AM


Upcoming Events

Camp UOTS

Camp U.O.T.S. is an annual weeklong, overnight camp for children with cancer and blood disorders who are treated at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

Learn more and register

From the Newsdesk

Siblings of Cancer Patients enjoy a Fun Filled Day
More than two dozen children attended the Bear Hug camp at Nicklaus Children's last week. This day camp is for siblings of pediatric cancer patients to encourage socialization among peers and help them gain insight on their siblings' care journey. 
Daniella Celebrates her Ninth Birthday by Advocating for Children’s Health
On this very same day nine years ago, Daniella Alvarez was diagnosed Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor (ATRT), a rare and aggressive type of brain cancer. The news came on June 26, 2009, her second birthday. Daniella endured years of brain surgeries, aggressive chemotherapies, radiation, imaging scans, multiple visits to intensive care at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. She is now cancer free thanks to a pediatric clinical trial made possible through research funding.

Video

video
At just 16 years old, Raquel was diagnosed with Pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She first noticed something was wrong in the summer of 2015 when she realized she had swollen glands behind her ear.