Therapeutic Apheresis Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is apheresis?
Therapeutic Apheresis is used for the treatment of certain medical conditions in which a part of the blood that contains disease-provoking elements is removed. Apheresis is a medical procedure that involves removing whole blood from a patient and separating the blood into individual components so that one particular component can be removed. The remaining blood components then are re-introduced back into the bloodstream of the patient.
Therapeutic apheresis involves the removal of pathological factors such as:
- Immune complexes
- Lipids such as LDL
- Autoimmune antibodies
- Toxins including insecticides, pesticides, and heavy metals.
Q: How are therapeutic apheresis procedures performed?
A: Apheresis involves connecting the blood in the patient’s veins through tubing to a machine that separates the blood into its components. The separation is done by either a centrifuge process or a filtration process. Our machine uses a filtration process with removal of lipoproteins and other constituents. After separation, the desired component is removed while the remainder of the components are reinfused back to the patient.
Q: How much time does it take to complete a treatment?
A: The actual time depends on a number of factors, but procedures typically range from three to four (3-4) hours.
Q: What diseases can be treated with apheresis?
A: When used in a therapeutic manner, the apheresis procedure is individualized regarding the frequency and number of treatments, the volume of blood or components to be removed, and the type of solution used for volume replacement.
The following list of conditions is a small sample for which therapeutic apheresis may be of benefit. Therapeutic Apheresis is currently being used in the treatment of:
- LDL apheresis for hyperlipidemia
- Chronic infection (Chronic Lyme and Chronic Lyme-like Infections)
- Myasthenia Gravis
Cancer patients may also benefit. In 2019 we plan to offer apheresis for children with Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS) under a clinical trial.
What makes us different?
While some overseas clinics offer therapeutic apheresis, the expense and inconvenience of transatlantic travel can be an obstacle. Patients treated in the US take less time off from work because the procedure is done outpatient. Additionally, our treatment combines the apheresis with advice and guidance from our Registered Dietician/Nutritionist on proper diet and supplementation with treatment individualized to your unique situation. We have many other treatments and nutritional IVs available that also augment and support the results of the apheresis.
Grapevine, Tx is centrally located in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, approximately 10 minutes from the DFW International Airport. Grapevine is a convention destination with over 10,000 hotel rooms and many activities that patients can experience including six organic grocery stores, an aquarium great restaurants and shopping as well as major museums and performance halls in Dallas and Ft. Worth. We have agreements with several local hotels as well as select Airbnb homes. If needed, we can assist with planning for these accommodations which offer reduced medical rates for our patients.