Many people have never before heard of leukaphresis. That's because it's not an extremely common procedure, but it can be a highly beneficial one. This procedure, most commonly used in patients with leukemia, uses a unique machine to remove excess white blood cells from the body and then return the healthy red blood cells and the plasma. When medically advisable, there are many benefits to receiving or offering this procedure.
People use many different treatments for leukemia and other types of cancers that affect the white blood cell count.
Most of these treatments, however, do not provide instant results. Chemotherapy, for example, often does not have an impact on the white blood cells until a few days after it has been administered. For some people, that's not soon enough.
Leukapheresis, on the other hand, acts right away, which could prevent someone from becoming seriously hurt or even dying due to the effects of too many leukemia or white blood cells in the body. When time is of the essence, even if chemotherapy or other treatments have been or will be used, leukapheresis is an excellent option.
Reduction Of Thickness
While leukapheresis is most commonly used in cancer patients, it can offer other benefits as well.
In some cases it may be used to reduce blood that is too thick.
For example, it is often used in cases of priapism, or sustained male erection, to reduce blood thickness and along with it, the symptoms and potential dangers related to this condition.
There may be other special medical circumstances in which reducing the thickness of the blood may be beneficial, in which case medical professionals will often turn to leukapheresis as an effective treatment.
People are often very nervous about undergoing leukapheresis, but it is surprisingly pain-free.
It can be done while a person lies down or even sits up in a chair. Patients do not have to be sedated and are free to read, watch television, or chat with others while undergoing the procedure.
It usually takes a few hours to complete, with no pain at any point during the procedure.
While no one wants to have to undergo leukapheresis, it can be extremely helpful and useful in times of need. In fact, it even has the potential to save a person's life and to improve quality of life. Thus, patients should consider this treatment option, and medical professionals should consider offering it in their offices.