Plasmapheresis involves the removal or separation of plasma from the whole blood. Before transfusing the blood back to the body, the separated plasma is replaced with a healthy plasma or fresh plasma substitute that may include saline, albumin, or a mixture of both. The procedure can last from one to three hours. Treatment duration varies based on the size of the patient's body and how much plasma needs to be exchanged.
Alternate Name For Plasmapheresis Surgery
How is plasmapheresis Surgery performed?
During plasmapheresis, the patient lies on the cot or reclines in a chair for a few hours while the procedure is performed. The affected area is numbed using a local anaesthetic, and the process is painless. A catheter tube is used to remove blood from the patient's body that is then delivered to the apheresis machine. Inside the machine, the blood cells and plasma are separated. To separate the blood components, apheresis machines can work in two different ways. In the first process known as centrifugation, a high-speed rotation of the blood will separate the blood cells from the plasma. In the second process, blood is passed through a special filter that separates plasma from the other components. This is called filtration. After this separation, fresh plasma substitutes or healthy donor plasma is used to restructure the blood cells. The restructured blood is then returned to the body with help of another catheter tube.
Preparation for Plasmapheresis Surgery
Plasmapheresis is a therapeutic process for which patients should follow the following directions:
- Eat a high-protein, low sodium, and healthy diet on the days before the procedure.
- Tobacco and smoking should be avoided.
- Drink a lot of water to stay hydrated.
- Be sure to get proper sleep the night before the procedure.
- It is recommended to wear loose clothing during the process to stay comfortable.
- Before the procedure begins, use the restroom.
The patient will have to undergo some tests to help the doctor determine the following:
- heart rate
- blood pressure
- Oxygen level
- Body temperature
This information will aid the doctor in doing appropriate machine setup and keeping track of any changes that may occur during the treatment.
Plasmapheresis Procedure Type
Most people tolerate the procedure well, but some feel tired after the procedure. Preparing for the procedure properly and following your doctor's instructions are important for achieving the greatest results. The patient needs to take proper rest for a short time after going through the procedure and may be required to undertake 2-3 treatments every week. Any symptoms such as abdominal discomfort, rapid heart rate, seizures, breathlessness, nausea, dizziness, fever or chills, or extreme itching or development of rashes should all be reported to the doctor. Follow the doctor's recommendations for a well-balanced diet and Ensure you consume lots of water.
Risks For Plasmapheresis Surgery
Plasmapheresis does have potential several side effects; however, they are usually uncommon and moderate. The risks associated with the treatment are as follows:
- Infection: Nearly all procedures that involve the exchange of blood in the body can result in infection.
- Blood clots: Anticoagulants may be prescribed by your doctor to mitigate the risk of blood clotting.
- Allergic reaction: It is usually in response to the replacement solutions used for plasma.
Recovery From Plasmapheresis Surgery
In most cases, people recover quickly and do not require to stay overnight in the hospital. They can be exhausted and tired. One needs to avoid driving or working out immediately after the procedure. Getting proper rest and sleep is essential for a healthy and quick recovery. One needs to adhere to a balanced diet and ensure they have plenty of fluids as directed by the doctor. In case any symptoms such as irregular heartbeat, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, fever, fainting, abnormal fatigue, rashes, or itching are experienced, the doctor must be notified immediately. Any negligence in this relationship could lead to serious consequences.
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