Plasmapheresis is the procedure that the blood is withdrawn from a person and separated into plasma and blood cells. Blood cells are transfused back into the person but affected substances are removed and replaced with another solution such as albumin or fresh frozen plasma.
What is the purpose of Plasmaspheresis?
1.To remove the affected antibodies from the bloodstream in the patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
2.To replace with good plasma or a plasma substitute such as a disease caused by malnutrition
3.To adjust body’s immune system
List of diseases treated by Plasmapheresis
1. Some autoimmune disorders like Rheumatology Syndromes, SLE
2. Neurological disorders preceded by an infection and the immune system attacks healthy nerve cells, common symptoms involve weakness and numbness of the arms and legs such as Guillian – Barre’ Syndrome (GBS), Myasthenia Gravis , Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP) and Waldenstrom ‘s Macroglobulinemia
3. Patients with high cholesterol level, resulting from genetic factor and mostly found in Europe
4. Certain dermatitis, helping patients who get blood clots in the leg and suffer from the pain without the surgery
1. Blood is usually drawn from a patient’s arm vein by a needle
2. The blood enters the compartment of the blood cell separator where the plasma is separated from other blood components and pumped into a collection bag (like a dialyzer)
3. A harmful substance circulating in the plasma will be removed
4. The plasma is replaced with fresh frozen plasma or albumin
The time spent on Plasmapheresis is approximately 2-3 hours each and treatment frequency depends on the disease treated and the patient's response to the procedure. Typically, patients require 4-5 times within 1-2 week. Some with high cholesterol level, however, may need to receive plasmapheresis one time per month. Plasma exchange can be done on at an outpatient basis. The process isn't painful, without anesthesia.
Benefit of Plasmapheresis
1. Plasmapheresis provides effective result since the process removes the affected plasma and replace it with good plasma or a plasma substitute.
2. Unlike steroid injection, plasmapheresis does not suppress the body immune system
3. For certain diseases, plasmapheresis offers the quickest outcome compared with other treatments.
Importantly, plasmapheresis will be done based upon patient's specific diagnosis by the specialist and at Phyathai 2 Hospital; we have experienced physicians, and advanced medical equipment ready to take care of the patient for the whole course of treatment.