3 Reasons You May Want To Consider Leukapheresis
If you or someone you know has an excess of white blood cells, you may want to consider leukapheresis. Leukapheresis is the process of removing white blood cells from the body while circulating the rest of the blood back to the donating person. This is done by drawing the blood via an almost normal venipuncture, streaming the blood through a specialized machine which is programmed to remove a certain type of cell, in this case, white blood cells, and then circulating the blood back into the body through the same removal site.
There are several reasons why someone would truly benefit from leukapheresis, including but not limited too:
White blood cells are the cells that help protect the body from harmful pathogens that may wish to come in. In short, they build up the immune system which is so crucial to keeping people healthy. There are many procedures out there that can be harmful to white blood cells such as some forms of chemotherapy, radiation, and even some more mainstream medications. In an effort to protect their white blood cells, some patients choose to have a leukapheresis in order to save their cells from undergoing damage during treatment. Once the treatment has passed, white blood cells are then reinjected into the body, giving the immune system a big boost.
Leukemia is cancer of the white blood cells. This means that the number of white blood cells grows at a rate that is faster than anything else in the body, which causes problems. Sometimes the number of white blood cells can become so great that those cells may bog down the ciruculatory system, potentially causing blood clots or poor circulation. This disorder can be averted by removing the excess white blood cells before they become too much of a problem.
Finally, some people choose to remove white blood cells in order to save them in case they need them in the future. This is different than protecting the cells, since they can be cryogenically frozen in order to save them for years at a time. This can be done in an effort to save white blood cells just in case something may come up in the future where they may be needed.
In conclusion, leukapheresis can be a great option which could help you down the road. Talk to your doctor to see if this procedure is right for you.