Six Things You Can Do To Make Leukapheresis More Comfortable

Health & Medical Blog

Leukapheresis is a treatment that is sometimes prescribed to patients diagnosed with certain types of cancer such as leukemia. This treatment helps make chemotherapy treatments more effective by managing the amount of white blood cells in the blood.

The leukapheresis procedure can be made more comfortable by proper preparation. The following are six things you may want to do to help make the leukapheresis process more comfortable:

Eat a good meal beforehand

You'll need to have blood taken at the beginning of leukapheresis treatment. Having blood taken can lower your blood sugar levels. If you haven't eaten a meal lately, this could cause you to feel faint or even pass out. 

Therefore, you should make sure that you have eaten a decent meal before you go in for the leukapheresis procedure. 

Understand what the side effects are

You might experience some side effects when you undergo leukapheresis. Some common side effects of the procedure include numbness in the extremities, muscle spasms, and chills.

Before you go in for the procedure, you should know that these side effects are possible. However, if you experience these side effects they should clear up quickly after the procedure. 

Bring some company with you

The leukapheresis process can take time. You will have to spend some time sitting around and waiting during your appointment. This makes it a good idea to bring some company along to support you and talk with you throughout the procedure. 

Dress warm

You might start to feel cold when you have blood taken as part of the treatment. Chills are not uncommon during the procedure. You should dress as warm as possible, and you might even want to bring a blanket along with you for the procedure to help you to stay comfortable. 

Avoid wearing tight clothing

You don't want any tight clothing to restrict your circulation during treatment. Restricted circulation is likely to aggravate any side effects you experience. 

Wear loose, comfortable clothing. You might also want to wear a short sleeve layer because you will need to have a needle inserted into your arm as part of the treatment. 

Make sure you're well rested

You need to have energy to get through the procedure. If you are not well rested, you might start to feel fatigued as the procedure goes on.

Get a good night's sleep the night before and avoid going in for the procedure at the end of a busy and tiring workday if possible. 


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