Are you on TRT Therapy? Do you have Hemochromatosis? A therapeutic phlebotomy is a cornerstone treatment.
A therapeutic phlebotomy is a procedure that removes blood from a person’s body with the specific goal of reducing iron overload.
Therapeutic phlebotomy involves the same procedure as blood donation; the primary difference is the frequency of how often we give blood. Phlebotomy (aka venesection) may be recommended quite frequently for a person who has just been diagnosed with iron overload, especially if their ferritin levels are greatly elevated.
A physician’s prescription is necessary when the recommendation for phlebotomy is more frequent compared to the typical time frame allowed between a typical blood donation at a community blood services center (which is allowed to be completed only once every 56 days).
Therapeutic phlebotomy is continued until the patient’s ferritin level reaches a goal level set by their physician. Most experts state that each phlebotomy reduces the ferritin level by 30 to 50 points. While this may be an accurate average, I have had a number of patients report even greater reduction in their ferritin per each phlebotomy.
When a person’s ultimate goal level of ferritin is accomplished, there is much to celebrate! However, in looking forward to the future, a person will want to prevent their iron levels from becoming elevated again. Maintaining a healthy iron and ferritin level becomes the next therapeutic goal.
Who Can Do Theraputic Phlebotomy?
Taking Care of You
A trained phlebotomist performs the procedure to remove the blood. Most typically, a phlebotomist will perform this therapy in a medical office, hospital, or even a community blood service center. Or in our case at your home.
How Long Does It Take?
The Care You Deserve
When there are no complications, a therapeutic phlebotomy usually takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete. It can be quick and easy for many individuals.
On the other hand, I have had people tell me their phlebotomist will have difficulty finding a proper vein, which may add to the time involved (not to mention the potential discomfort level). One person told me the office she goes to needs to use an ultrasound machine to find a vein and the process takes an hour. Her situation is a “worst case scenario”, and is atypical.
How Often Do you Need to Perform a Therapeutic Phlebotomy?
Helping You Get Healthy
The frequency of how often you have a therapeutic phlebotomy depends upon your physician’s recommendations. This prescription accounts for a number of factors including:
Lab Tests— Degree of Iron Overload and Ferritin Level
Other Health Conditions
Your Ability to Donate Blood
Even though phlebotomy is safe and effective, some individuals just have a difficult time.
Perhaps they have low blood volume and are subject to fainting… perhaps their veins collapse… perhaps they have had so many therapeutic phlebotomies that their veins have developed scar tissue.
Some folks just plain old do not like it.
Care Comes First
My name is Lanetra Monroe, owner of LMM Phlebotomy Services LLC. My company was started January 2014. With over 20 years of experience in phlebotomy working for The American Red Cross you can assure I am courteous, organized, and professional. My mobile services was designed with limited mobility patients in mind. However, many people with busy schedules will enjoy the convenience of our on-location service in the privacy of your home, office or hotel. We are here to help.
National Certified Phlebotomist