Plasma Exchange Therapy

Home / Solutions / Plasma Exchange Therapy

As we age, we accumulate many inflammatory proteins, chronic infections, and other toxins within our blood, within our plasma, to be exact. To remediate this, a technique involves extracting blood from the body and separating it into two components – the toxic plasma and the healthy cells. The contaminated plasma is discarded while the healthy cells are returned in a tailored saline-albumin-vitamin combination solution.

Therapeutic Plasma Exchange (TPE) is a healing technique that filters out these toxins from the body, leaving healthy cells behind. In this process, blood is extracted from the body and separated into two components – plasma with toxins and healthy cells – before the contaminated plasma is discarded. The blood cells reenter our body in a tailored saline-albumin-vitamin combination solution, relieving many medical conditions.

With Therapeutic Plasma Exchange, despite only a small volume of blood being extracted from your body at any one time, liters of your plasma are treated over a few hours. As a result, dangerous concentrations of abnormal proteins and toxins, key components responsible for aging, are substantially decreased.

Solutions for Therapeutic Plasma Exchange

Therapeutic Plasma Exchange (TPE) is performed using a high-tech, FDA-approved medical device. This machine can remove blood from a vein, using citrate to prevent the blood from clotting outside the body and separate it into its components.

To perform a TPE, we will insert a needle into large veins in both arms; if desired, you can receive an injection of local anesthesia for skin numbing before the procedure. Afterward, the citrate binds calcium – fundamental to blood clotting – then separates the plasma from your blood while returning your red and white cells to you with saline, albumin, and vitamins added as specialized fluid.

Plasma calculator

Enter your weight and hematocrit level below and it will tell you how much plasma needs to be exchanged to have optimal results after a TPE session.

TIP! If you are a new client, can find your hematocrit level on page two of your initial labs report, In adults, normal levels for men range from 41%-50%. For women, the normal range is slightly lower 36%-44%

Weight must be greater than 0 and less than 1000lb.
Hematocrit must be greater than 0 and less than 100%.

Kaplan AA. ASAIO Trans. 1990 Jul-Sep;36(3):M597-9. -> PubMed

What to Expect From Therapeutic Plasma Exchange

Please disclose any medications you take to ensure safety during a TPE appointment, including medicines for blood thinners, seizures, and abnormal heart rate. Before the procedure, you can eat and drink normally during and after the plasma exchange. For recurrent therapeutic plasma exchanges who get sick (i.e., flu or infection), kindly call us to delay your session.

As your blood passes through the cell separator, an anticoagulant will be introduced to prevent clotting within the device. A few common side effects may occur, such as tingling in your fingers, nose, and lips; a metallic taste in your mouth or even nausea accompanied by an unpleasant vibrating feeling.

After the procedure, most patients feel better, lighter, and healthier, but some people can experience fatigue. It is strongly recommended that you arrange for a friend or family member to drive you home from the appointment. If this proves impossible, let our staff know in advance, and they will gladly assist with transportation needs. Under no circumstances should one attempt to operate any vehicle after their visit nor engage in any strenuous physical activity for the rest of the day following your treatment session

Calculating your plasma volume by blood count, height, and weight helps to determine the duration of your Therapeutic Plasma Exchange, but it typically takes around two or three hours.

Precautions for Therapeutic Plasma Exchange (TPE)

TPE is safe; however, some side effects may occur in rare cases (3% or less). These may include discomfort and bruising near the injection site, tiredness, lightheadedness, and fainting. In addition to these symptoms, nausea, cramps, and tingling around the lips or fingers can also be experienced – typically due to citrate which keeps blood from clotting while it’s outside your body.

In extremely rare cases, air might be injected into the patient’s bloodstream; however, state-of-the-art apheresis machines have alarms to fend off this risk, and individuals undergoing the procedure are carefully monitored. Thus, medical personnel must be made aware of any symptoms present during or after the process.

Overall, this procedure is quite safe, having been around for over 50 years, and the machines MDLifespan uses are programmed with your safety in mind.


Possible Side Effects of Plasma Exchange Therapy

Side effects are uncommon while undergoing Plasma Exchange Therapy. However, less than 3% of the time you may experience a hematoma at needle site, tingling of fingers and lips (caused by anticoagulant which blocks calcium, so patients get hypercalcemia temporarily), a metallic taste in mouth (also caused by anticoagulant), transient low blood pressure, fainting due to anxiety from the IVs, allergic reaction to albumin (rare, likely due to poor albumin source). However, if you do experience any symptoms after the procedure, you should contact your provider.  If needed, go to the nearest Emergency Department.

When to See a Doctor for Plasma Exchange Therapy

In Longevity Medicine, this discovery is felt by many to be a game-changer. Some researchers and physicians believe this will become a routine practice for anyone who wishes to experience greater health and wellness. The question of when to start TPE depends more on the individual’s health, and some individuals could experience the toxic buildup in their bodies years, if not decades, before their peers.  We recommend that anyone interested in Longevity Medicine and TPE consult our physicians so that we can evaluate your current level of health and wellness, as well as your current level of inflammation, oxidation, and toxicity.