Phlebotomy

Bethel Medical Associates LLC

Internists & Pediatricians located in New City, NY

Draining blood from the body sounds like something straight out of a vampire novel, but for men and women with hemochromatosis or polycythemia vera, it’s a life-saving treatment. The specialists at Bethel Medical Associates remove blood to prevent iron and red blood cell buildup in those who overproduce those substances. If you need a doctor in New City, New York to provide phlebotomy, schedule a consultation with Dr. Stanley John online or over the phone.

Phlebotomy Q & A

What is phlebotomy?

Phlebotomy is the practice of drawing blood for testing, transfusion, or medical treatment. Some blood disorders necessitate regular phlebotomy to drain the blood and rid the body of excess substances. This treatment is called therapeutic phlebotomy.

When is phlebotomy necessary?

If you have hemochromatosis or polycythemia, you may need your blood drained to protect yourself from liver damage or blood clots.

Hemochromatosis

Hemochromatosis is a disorder in which the body absorbs too much iron from your diet. The excess iron builds up in the liver, heart, and pancreas. If it continues to accumulate, it can lead to severe complications such as heart failure, liver damage, and diabetes.

To remove excess iron from the body, Dr. John may prescribe regular phlebotomy to drain your blood. Most iron is stored in your red blood cells, so removing your blood also depletes your iron levels.

Polycythemia vera

Polycythemia vera is another blood disorder that causes your bone marrow to produce too many red blood cells. The red blood cells thicken your blood and leave it susceptible to life-threatening clots. Phlebotomy lowers the number of blood cells in your system and thins your blood to reduce those risks.

What happens during a phlebotomy treatment?

Therapeutic phlebotomy is just like donating blood. While you relax in a chair, a lab technician finds a viable vein in your arm and inserts the needle. Then, they draw the recommended amount of blood through the needle and collect it inside a blood bag.

For aggressive hematomacrosis treatment, you may have to undergo phlebotomy several times per week until your iron levels return to normal. Then, you are asked to return for follow-up treatments as necessary.

Phlebotomy is just one aspect of treatment for polycythemia vera. Dr. John may use low-dose aspirin, cancer-killing drugs, and other medication to control the disease.

After a phlebotomy treatment, you may be asked to rest and snack for around 20 minutes to prevent dizziness. To minimize the risk of dizziness and other side effects, make sure to hydrate adequately with water in the hours leading up to phlebotomy.

To schedule your phlebotomy treatments, contact Bethel Medical Associates online or over the phone.